Debut LP out on Stones Throw Oct. 9
“The making of this video was a definitely b-movie affair. We shot it all at my music studio in Greenpoint – I had gone down to Leeds Radio in Williamsburg and gotten all this weird old gear which is what we used to build the “control room”, and we completely rearranged the live room to accommodate the “circle of synths” – there’s 17 synths in total. I nearly lit my head on fire at the end because my hair was so full of hairspray and teased out – I was literally up on a ladder off to the side of camera lighting a sparkler yelling “ready! action!” then I’d swing the lit sparkler into the frame and hop in myself. I was stepping all over smoldering embers with my bare feet, and that room must have been 120 degrees with our little 4 person crew, a giant hazer, the smoke from the fireworks, and all the windows and doors taped shut to block out light – it was not the most pleasant place to be. Noah was a good sport about it though, and the camera work he did was incredible. In the end it all worked out, and all said and done I think the video looks amazing.” – Chrome Canyon on the making of the video for “Memories of a Scientist”
The future never came. The year 2000 arrived, a new millennium was born, and yet we were not greeted with hover-boards. Our computers did not sprout legs and profess to love us. Enter Chrome Canyon. If we can indeed recover yesterday’s fantasy of what tomorrow would (should) be, then Chrome Canyon is the temporal technician for the job. The solo project of New York artist Morgan Z, Chrome Canyon creates analog synth-powered epics that move between eras past and ages imagined to create the perfect score for an alternate now.
Morgan’s formative music memories were beamed in through the living room TV set – Vangelis’ Blade Runner score, Wendy Carlos via Tron, Giorgio Moroder’s work on Cat People. He spent his youth on the outskirts of southern California’s San Fernando Valley. His folks had him on piano by 6. At 16, he moved into that same living room and gave his bedroom over to housing his collected gear.
Somewhere between the avant-garde compositions he wrote while studying jazz at NYC’s New School, a college job selling keyboards at Sam Ash in Times Square, and the satirical sex-funk band he founded on the side, his destiny was taking shape. For three years, Morgan played in the glammy electro outfit Apes & Androids, but when that ended, he retreated to his private Brooklyn studio where he began to amass analog synthesizers at an obsessive rate.
Then the remixes began pouring forth. Phoenix, Passion Pit, and a commissioned remix for Foster the People – their hits reemerging with a healthy dusting of metallic sheen, glowing neon pink and alarm clock green. Then came deranged disco edits of soul-jazz master George Benson and synthpop pioneers Yellow Magic Orchestra, Chrome Canyon’s profile growing as Morgan further blurred past, present and future.
Now, Stones Throw is set to release Chrome Canyon’s debut album, Elemental Themes on Oct. 9. The inaugural set is blessed with solid circuitry and an organic core: not only those analog synths, but live drums, bass, guitar and Theremin run through hand-built compressors, composed and arranged into a living, breathing whole. Elemental Themes was one of the last works mastered by Nilesh Patel, the engineer behind classic albums by the likes of Air, Bjork, and Daft Punk. The end result is something wondrously both in and out of time, and a cinematic experience without the cinema.
8/23 – New York, NY Le Poisson Rouge *
* = w/ Nite Jewel & Peanut Butter Wolf
Street Date: Oct. 9, 2012
05 Elemental Themes
06 Cave of Light
08 Chasing The Dead
09 Sacred Mountain
10 Memories of a Scientist
11 Signs from an Old World
12 Carfire on the Highway