Chris Korda’s album ‘More Than Four’ created in odd time and complex polymeter is flagrant rhythmic heresy
upcoming release “More Than Four” is flagrant rhythmic heresy:
electronic dance music that’s not only in odd time, but also in complex
polymeter. Each of the album’s tracks uses at least four time signatures
at once, typically including 3, 4, 5, and 7. The title is a pun on the
1966 Miles Davis album “Four & More.” The gatefold double LP has
eleven tracks and features Korda’s artwork, and the digital version adds
three bonus tracks.
Progressive rock bands commonly switched
time signatures, but Korda takes it to the next level, by using multiple
time signatures concurrently. For example in the title
track, the synth part is in 7/4, whereas the piano part is in 6/4, hence
the piano “slips” out of synchronization with the synth, and then
converges with it again. This deliberate slippage is characteristic
of phase music, historically associated with minimal composers such as Steve Reich and Terry Riley.
Korda sees the hegemony of the generic 4/4
disco beat as a “pleasure prison” and is determined to escape from it
by any means necessary. To that end she developed an open-source music
composition software–aptly named Polymeter–over many years, and uses it
exclusively. According to Korda, “homogenization of culture is the
epitome of industrialism, motivated by the need to standardize
consumption.” Korda tirelessly agitates for all types of diversity,
including cultural, biological, and gender diversity.
Than Four” features relatively few lyrics, but they’re true to form.
The title track pokes fun at the monotony of disco, while “Moonchego”
satirizes conspiracy theorists and their alternative facts. “Pleasant
Mistake” captures the selfishness and myopia that propel us towards an
unlivable future, while “Planet Broke” is a furious anti-natalist anthem
for the future generations we’re betraying. The album expresses
realism, existentialism, and scientific pragmatism, and leads us to a
surprising conclusion: The planet will be fine; it’s we who are in
Chris Korda is an internationally renowned
multimedia artist, whose work spans nearly thirty years and includes
electronic music, digital and video art, performance and conceptual art,
and culture jamming. She’s been slipping subversion into DJ mixes since
the mid-1990s, when she was one of the founders of electroclash and
pioneered the use of complex polymeter in techno.
This summer has seen the first large scale retrospective of Chris’ work ‘The (Wo)Man of the Future’ at Confort Moderne in Poitiers.
The exhibition which encorporates Chris’ music, as well as visual art,
technology, activism, and her work as a leading voice on humanities
ecoside through her ongoing project The Church of Euthanasia. She has
done various performances during the run of the exhibition, including of
her seminal album ‘Apologize to the Future’. The exhibition was chosen as a highlight of the summer by Les Inrocks, reviewed by Frieze ‘Can Chris Korda save the planet?’ and featured in Art Forum, as well as indepth features with TISSUE reflecting on the heartbreaking tragedy of our collective failure and Clot looked at her role as ecological provocatrice.
Placed in context for 2022, with the
hottest summer on record across the Northern Hemisphere, heatwaves at
both poles, the dismantling of legal protections for bodily autonomy in
the US – as well as separation of Church and State, rise of right wing
and religiously extreme movements, global political orders more
concentrated on waging war than fixing the problems of humanity,
mainstream media and tech companies who continue to ignore their part in
our destruction – her work over the last 30 years has gone from fringe
provocation to essential and vitally aligned with the global youth
movements fighting for a future on this planet.