Not long ago, Cluster Mag’s Brad Troemel wrote a very interesting piece about the state of contemporary counter-culture called “The End of Us Versus Them,” noting a trend toward “hyper-corporate” posturing among a certain subset of internet generation artists. In a world where any radical gesture is fair game for co-optation by the world of marketing and mass entertainment, he explains, some artists are simply reversing the “cannibalizing” process, staking out some space for subversive weirdness and idiosyncrasy within the symbolic landscape of our global, tech-fueled economy.
Chunky Monkey, the sophomore solo LP by Gatekeeper‘s Aaron David Ross, aka ADR, is way too jubilant and visceral an experience to feel like a textbook illustration of an academic claim, but it wraps its dexterous, affectionately detailed production chops around every kind of music you’d at least associate with ideological resistance, from smooth jazz and jungle catwalk soundtracks to loungey, digital dub. Chunkey Monkey, ADR says, “is the story of a clip art line drawings’ vacation across the dotted lines on a not-to-scale map. He visits vapor lounges, amusement parks, beatnik open mic nights, millennial sushi restaurants and cartoon fair trade coffee farms. He sits shotgun in Bobby McFerrin’s Mini Cooper, commited to his own funky brand of tourism, blissfully optimistic and always ‘feelin the groove.’” Stream the album below, and grab a copy on April 16th via Hippos In Tanks.
Stream ADR’s Chunky Monkey album