Strawberry Complexity – This Is Pop Music


WTF Album: Strawberry Complexity – This Is Pop Music


Artist: DeFuncArt

Country: Ireland/UK

Timeline: 2010 -

WTF Quality: High, but see sidenote @Track 03.

Tags: found-sound, rape, jump-cut, string quartet, sampled, anger, granularity


This album declaims, in it's title, to be the definition of that mythical beast we all know and hate; the apparently universally loathed "pop music". But this turns out to be a very personal rage against the machine, fraught with difficulties of interpretation. This guy finds pop music offensive on many (possibly all) levels, and tackles it with an unprecedented venom. Surprisingly, though, his weapon of choice seems to be the switch labeled OFF. Instead of going for the obviously exposed jugular, he waits until it's on a Life Support System, and takes his time gnawing through the pipes and lines that feed it. A much crueller demise.

01 - Tik Tok


First Dr. DeFuncArt has nibbled through the saline drip. Rigor mortis has already set in; decomposition is well advanced. In essence this is a set of variations on a theme; three passes through some kind of granular processor(?) - the first gradually (so gradually!) faded in, then left to fester at full volume. A strangle hold is applied. The next, where filters are gently applied - fundamentals, harmonics, noise particles all jostling for supremacy but none getting the upper hand. Another more violent choking. The third pass has more aggressive filtering, topped off with a final gasp of agonized intensity. Before you know it, this (over) 14 minute track has passed away.

02 - Can't You See What I See?


Getting his teeth into the optic nerve, now. The lives passing before these glassy eyes include:-

*Lady Gaga - Love Game
*The Winstons - Amen, Brother
*Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling
*Pink - Get This Party Started
*Taylor Swift - Love Story
*Justin Timberlake - Cry Me a River
*Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl
*Britney Spears - If You Seek Amy
*t.A.T.u. - All the Things She Said
*Britney Spears - Toxic
*Rihanna - Umbrella
*'Solo' from Manic Street Preacher's cover of Umbrella

This is "rape", but a step further. This is a necrophiliac armed with a quart of Rohipnol.

03 - Just Dance

img which he goes for the air-line, and starves the brain. On the face of it, it's just a string quartet arrangement of the original song; but that's already denied it any chance to breathe through it's lyrics. The instruments are of course samples, lacking the vital oxygen of dynamics and articulation - or even any natural rhythmic give and take. This one is a well-embalmed cadaver, just waiting to play at it's own funeral.
[sidenote] As a standalone, this track is not WTF at all – in the context it's as WTF as F.

04 - Since You've Been Gone


The Doctor holds up two X-rays here, saying “This is a picture of a healthy kidney. Now let’s take a look at YOUR kidney...”. I think you can probably guess by now which has the diseased nephrons.

*Kelly Clarkson - Since You've Been Gone
*Music Rank by ryno13333
*Krzysztof Penderecki - Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima
*Iannis Xenakis - Jonchies
*Iannis Xenakis - Nomos Alpha

05 La ForĂȘt Blanche


"Original lyrics from Evanescence's Haunted, My Last Breath, Tourniquet and Snow White Queen.
Chord progession is inpsired from My Last Breath."

Here's the Frankenstein part...and for my money it's pretty the cemetery for a few bits and pieces, stick 'em together, and see what crawls out of the desecrated hole. Exhumation 101; and the Circle of Death is complete.

Closure: As you can see, this package is thoughtfully provided with individual artwork for each track, each one a bastardization or conglomeration of the elements of the “original”. This provides a clue as to what DeFuncArt is trying to achieve here – a thorough autopsy followed by a wallowing formaldehyde bath for the entrails. I recommend this album if you ever get a bit ticked off with the “pop music/hype/culture/industry/machine”. It just goes to show that there's always someone angrier at it than you.