Chris Korda - Not My Problem, I'll Be Dead
by Henry Ivry
Party tracks for the end of the world.
Chris Korda has been ringing the bell on the coming apocalypse since her first release back in '93. But 2020's Apologize To The Future saw Korda really lean into her stinging lyricism. It was a techno record written from the perspective of the Greta Thunbergs of the world, yelling at the SUV-driving, property-owning class who have accelerated our crash course for environmental doom.
Her latest EP, Not My Problem, I'll Be Dead, is an unusual follow-up, revisiting the same ideas but from the opposite perspective. This time Korda is writing tracks to soundtrack Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos (both of whom she name checks) popping pills in their luxury underground bunkers. But if Apologize To The Future occasionally felt like Korda's savant musicality was playing second fiddle to breathless polemics, Not My Problem I'll Be Dead is as musical as it is political, ironically sugar-coating her diatribes in bursts of dance floor colour.
Korda has found a home in the minimal scene amongst the ranks of Perlon disciples who like their music druggy and strange, and won't mind her complex polymeter rhythms. It's easy to imagine "Not My Problem" and "Have A Good One" working well at a marathon afterhours session. "Not My Problem" is built around twisting minor-key arpeggios and occasional 303 squelches—the sort of thing Binh would use to send punters down the rabbit hole. By contrast, "Have A Good One" is brighter, with heavily filtered pads that help turn a line from an Emily Dickinson letter into a solipsistic out-of-office responder from the one percent: "The heart wants what it wants / It's all good in my world / Have a good one."
She turns such heavy material into dance floor fare, parodying how we've all acquiesced to our own imminent destruction. "Baby Batter Bingo" starts dissonantly before transforming into Random Access Memories pastiche with vocoder vocals, polished chords, an organ solo and even a Donald Trump riff to finish it off ("I'm tired of winning").
Although Korda's been active since the early '90s, her release schedule has only recently reached a fever pitch: she's put out five full albums since 2019's Akoko Ajeji. There's something of a chicken-and-egg question here: has the past few years of global climate volatility pushed Korda to make more music? Or is it that we, as her audience, are ready to finally listen to what she has to say? Anthropogenic climate change is no longer an ambient background hum, but a defining feature of our everyday life. Korda's music, by the same token, is precisely the sort of thing we need, a way to shake collective complacency by pointing to how complicit we are in the earth's death dance.
A1 Baby Batter Bingo
A2 Not My Problem, I'll Be Dead
B1 Have A Good One
B2 Awesome On Mars