Chris Korda - Apologize To The Future
Published: Thu / 1 Oct 2020
Words: Richard Akingbehin
Chris Korda is no stranger to provocative ideas. Since the early '90s,
she has been turning heads with her radical approach to climate change.
She founded the Church Of Euthanasia, which champions voluntary
population reduction. Its mission was originally to save the planet but
now it's too late. Instead, the church prepares its followers for the
psychological consequences of societal collapse.
Korda's musical and environmental interests have joined forces before. Her debut release in 1993 was titled Save The Planet, Kill Yourself. Apologize To The Future
is her first album devoted entirely to such issues. It contains 1,200
words of doom and gloom, spoken from the voice of a future generation
and channelled through a robotic choir. The message is serious but Korda
delivers it in a lighthearted way. Whatever you think of her beliefs,
there is plenty to enjoy.
Three decades of work in this field provides a wide range of
material to choose from. Korda writes vividly, some tracks in perfect
rhyme, others in half. There is a memorable image of an ostrich with
headphones designed to noise-cancel the inconvenient truths of our
existence. A few lines feel shoehorned and the voice grates after a
while, but anyone who is bringing something genuinely new to the table
deserves leeway. Listening through the whole album is a slog, despite it
being only 30 minutes long. Electronic music is rife with dystopian
concept records but none sound the alarm this loud.
Below the wordplay and arcane references lies an academic level
of musical prowess. Korda is a pioneering software developer,
specialising in custom polymeter sequencers. There are no 4x4 rhythms on
Apologize To The Future, only complex patterns and harmonies in
flux. It's a style derived from jazz and psychedelic rock which has an
unpredictable and disorientating effect. The tracks simultaneously use
multiple meters and odd time signatures in a highly structured, almost
mathematical way. Korda is pushing back against what she calls the
"tyranny of the four."
With such an emphasis on vocals, the polymeter on Apologize To The Future is less prominent than on Korda's last album for Perlon, Akoko Ajeji.
Nonetheless, it creates a distinctive flow with infinite rhythmic
possibilities. "Changing Climate" clearly goes out of its way to avoid
familiarity, as does the inspired live drumming on "Exit Game." The
atonal highlight "Overshoot" is more straightforward and will likely get
most DJ play.
Apologize To The Future has a concept and execution
unlike anything else around. It's unusual for Korda herself and for
Perlon. Drop one of these tracks late at night and a few trips might go
sour, or someone's eyes might be opened to a whole new world of thinking
and musical paths.