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Follically Challenged Productions Presents:



As some of you may already know, I compound my world-conquering success as a comic writer with the occasional foray into music. Yeah, yeah, I know – I’m a double threat. Thank the deity of your choice that I came up short in the category of “sex appeal,” or else I’d be too dangerous to continue breathing the rarified air that we creative types enjoy. Or something.

In any event, I personally find it odd that I never talk much about music in this column. I guess it’s because, more often than not, I don’t tend to keep up with what’s popular; by the time I find something that I think is cool, the rest of the planet’s already downloaded it onto their Walkmans. Or are those called MyPods now? I forget.

This time, though, I’m absolutely sure I’m ahead of the curve. Ladies and gentlemen, I present…BURIKUSU!!!

(Those exclamation points came attached to the band’s name, just so you know. I am definitely excited about this band, so I may have added three exclamation points, too.)

In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that BURIKUSU!!! recently signed with 23db Records, the label run by Assemblage 23’s Tom Shear, and home to my band SD6. That being said, I have no other connection to this band; I don’t know them, I’ve never spoken to them and being that they hail from Sweden, I doubt we’ll be hanging out together anytime soon.

I first heard the band on their MySpace page a few months ago, while Tom was still talking to them about signing with his label. To say that I was intrigued is a bit of an understatement – the tracks were great -- but I honestly wondered what a full-length Burikusu!!! CD could possibly sound like. Any twinges of uncertainty I may have had were immediately dissolved by the time I’d heard their debut CD, 2080.

This CD is the textbook definition of “fresh.” 2080 is a high-tech, intelligent blending of genres that may force you to reassess your musical tastes. Nothing on this record can be taken for granted, because this band simply refuses to be pinned down: The vocals range from melodic, expressive singing to deep-space rap flow to artificially programmed machine poetry, and Mike Tyson even makes an appearance as lead vocalist in sampled form. The musical textures are atmospheric miracles, delivering a backdrop that is restless without suffering from creative ADD. It’s to their credit that they know how to strike an intelligent balance in their approach.

And let’s talk about those musical textures a little more: the band’s Claes Johanson is creator of the Vember Audio Surge softsynth and a programmer for Ableton Live; there’s really no debate as to the strength of his powers, and they are at their height on this occasion. Vocalist/lyricist Timothy Nilsson has an amazing knack for self-referential futurism that creates an immediate context for the science fiction flow that he brings to the table. Burikusu!!! make futuristic music that you’ll really believe came from the future, helping this CD feel more like a reverse time capsule than something recorded by a couple of young geniuses on their 2008 laptops.

Why am I telling you about this CD? The truth is, I’m so impressed by the unique artistic vision of this band that I simply feel compelled to spread the word as far and as wide as I can. More to the point, let’s be honest here – if you’re reading my column with any regularity, I’ll put down ten bucks that says you have some nerd tendencies hiding in your closet. This is music that should appeal to those of us inclined towards the fantastic, and I can’t think of a better soundtrack for your next gaming night or Wednesday comic reading than 2080 by Burikusu!!!

Please, folks – check this record out. If I’m wrong, then I’m afraid I can’t help you further, because you’re simply not ready.

I’ll even make it easy for you. Here’s a link to song samples from the CD.

If you like the samples, then you can purchase the physical CD with ease at this link.

And of course, you can find the band on iTunes, if that’s your thing.

Once again, I want to stress that I’m getting nothing out of this (although I do plan to hit the band up for a contribution to the forthcoming SD6 remix release) besides the knowledge that I’m finally ahead of the coolness curve for once. It’s not often that you can uncover something fresh and new before it becomes the Most Popular Thing in the World. So, when Burikusu!!! finally conquers the universe, just remember that you heard it from me first, okay?

Brandon Jerwa

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