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Decomposure
Eating Chicken
Blank Squirrel
www.blanksquirrel.com


I have been listening to the amazing sounds of Decomposure for over 4 years now, but I have never gotten the opportunity to review an album. Needless to say when I spotted his most recent release Eating Chicken in the stack for Hybrid I was like a kid on Christmas.

If you've never heard a song by Decomposure let me give you a little background. Caleb Mueller (aka Decomposure) is not your typical musician. What he is is a true artist in musician form. Sampling sounds from all spectrums and every piece of daily life gives each song a unique experience. He's just a single man with a smorgasbord of instruments.

Having been a participant in the creation of the music video for "Readymade" naturally puts a soft spot in my heart for this song. Caleb held an open call for content when composing the video, allowing for any and all fans to submit short clips representing some part of the song. He then blended all clips together into one crazy video (which can be seen on YouTube). The beauty of the video project came from the construction of the song. That's right construction. A steady beat foundation lets the harmonies tower above a few levels of hand claps, kitchen pot taps and tambourine shakes. Now keep in mind, without being in the same room as Caleb one can only imagine what actually makes each sound in his music. So these are guesses.

"How It Happened" is almost too complex to break down; one moment you're shaking your hips back and forth and the next you're drifting away. While a slow sashaying beat dances throughout the number, a break in the beat creates a nice opening for a sultry piano/vocal harmony and the lyrics "I can't handle the truth/I thought I could/but I couldn't make it through" softly repeating. I think it was about a year ago when Decomposure premiered "Safety Scissors" on his Blank Squirrel Podcast. It was then that the obsession started. This is one fun song. Robotic voices mix with human and industrial beats are mashed up with bass thuds. The tempo stays hip-hip and synthesized. You'll want to give this one a few listens, just to take it all in. Memories of a happy childhood come rushing back with the song "Selsh" and the uplifting piano melody that seems to mold so well with the "ba-ba-badum-da's" echoing through the vocals. Then life takes a 180 when "Black Snow" starts up. A slightly somber tone is bolstered by synth'd notes and quick taps creating a deep soundscape.

Near the end of Eating Chicken you'll find "Island" and a Morse code of synth notes and "ba-ba's" creating a background. The song finally breaks loose with a strong pulse of bass and more industrial effects creating a slight head bump. One of the many things Caleb does is blend straight up hip-hop rapping with soft harmonies and has them sound fairly awesome. There are so many layers to this song that one would fear the removal of just one and having it change completely.

This album makes for over 5 hours of music I have from Decomposure and each record is a unique piece of art. You can't own just one.

-Rachel Fredrickson

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