Like JMW Turner’s maritime images, Petuch’s art likely wouldn’t have been appreciated for its full weight in the mid-19th century. Be they nonlinear plots, broad brushstrokes, or mixing strings with harsh electronics, these are abstract and unconventional methods. Petuch makes this idiom work by attaching recognizable themes like the passage of time or a famous whale. “8p is like one chord and they can play it as long as they want.” Naturally, you won’t hear the notes and immediately think of early evening. However, we can meditate on the piece and make those connections ourselves. What exactly does this piece represent? We’ll let our ears tell us.
Without the press release, there’s nothing suggesting that Efrim Manuel Menuck would have taken interest in a celebrity romance. However, there is a dichotomy swirling around Pissing Stars that could also be found on American entertainment news. There’s ugliness and beauty at play simultaneously. One track here is called 'The Beauty of Children and the War Against the Poor'. As a father, he’s got to be positive despite rampant corruption, war, and poverty.
You can’t listen to The Official Body without dancing, which is a blessing and a curse. It’s fun at first, but eventually you’ll need a breather. Seeing the band on their current tour would be the best way to experience these songs. However, if you’re partied out, The Official Body is headache-inducing in its reliance on the UK’s well-established socio-political post-punk tradition.
Merz has set himself apart as a composer through his willingness to deemphasize his own talents in favor of accessibility. “Virtuosity is tied up with the classical tradition, and I’m looking for ways to subvert that. I’d rather get the emotion out of the technique rather than show off the technique.” Instead of championing his own specific narrative, he’s creating pieces that further the classical and electronic music traditions without having to lean on their complexity. As with the inclusivity of Mediated Intimacy, Merz is extending his arms outward toward lovers of art instead of drawing boundaries between them.