crashfaster – superchroma

One of the things that amazes us is everyone assumes we’ve partaken in drugs at some point in our lives, especially when they hear a sample of the kind of music we listen to (browse site, please).  “Woooaaah, I bet you see some colors maaaaannnn…”  I, the editor, actually had to ask what in the hell that meant once, and when I found out I was thoroughly angry, more like royally to the point I was crowned king of irritation.  Does listening to anything odd preclude one from not sampling psychotropics?  Really, why does everyone seem to think that but yet the worst of drug lords in the world listen to the most mundane of crap?  Whatever, let them rot their brains, we’ll expand our minds through other means which are not a detriment to nervous tissues, specifically through music like this, which, then again, makes us seriously question that “say no to drugs” stance we’ve been riding on for about twenty years.  crashfaster [sic] is a spectacular electronic group from out of San Francisco that utilizes “discarded technology”, as they say, piecing together that all-to-difficult-to-take-seriously genre of chiptunes and actually making something good out of it that isn’t a novelty.  In fact, had we not known that was part of their thing from their own words, we would have taken it as electronic pop insanity that finally made us believe noise pop was even something remotely possible without having an excuse for throwing pedal stomping over samples of Beyonce.  With real guitars and a real drummer so it sounds like “real music” as the uninitiated typically expound upon, they’ve given us a reason to write a review this late in the evening when our brain is practically non-functional.  This is probably what sampling drugs is like, so now we know, and we shall not stop.


superchroma will further this theme for us today, because as our brain melts away and begs us with every last neuron to just quit already and go to sleep, the beats and clever kawai of this album just keep running incessantly, shackling us with its sound to the chair, opium-tinged drool covering our “8Bit or Quit” T-Shirt.  God, did anything in the past five minutes now scribed via this site into the endlessness of the internet even make any Goddamn sense?  Stop, continue my hands, do not falter, the mind is weak, but the flesh is strong.  There was some hesitation in reviewing this album, because in spite of the “let’s do drugs” cover, it was almost a bit too light for our guttural proclivities but managed to pull enough tricks out of its noise bag to permit us the pleasure.  Thank the gods of the pill, because it would have been a shame not to since crashfaster tears unlike any electronic act we’ve heard in a long time, and by now superchroma has been sampled at least six different times because it’s so fresh, the high so pure.  We’ve had our dark synthwave kick, our witch house, our death industrial, we’ve had a lot of that, but something like this is different, almost required via daily prescription to achieve balance.  The track we selected for you to listen is merely one glimpse of this album, keep that in mind, chosen in particular so it’s clear exactly why we went through with the review if you listen to the rest of it and wonder what we’ve actually been smoking.


superchroma takes the most powerful of hallucinogenic, designer chemicals and mixes them with so much appropriated Asian-consumer symbolism that you’ll puke neon gas and roll your PCP joints in senpai skirts for at least a month.  One of the amazing things about it, other than the absolutely stellar artwork, is the complete lack of chiptune monotony.  Most chiptunes hits like a bad trip within seconds, except it’s nothing worth even screaming about.  The main problem with chiptunes, especially for someone who grew up with a C64, NES, or the like, is it sounds too much like a nostalgic gimmick.  So nostalgic that you’d be better off just picking up your old toploader and popping in The Krion Conquest.  Here, however, you can hear the 6502 assembly kicking away, but so delicately you’ll never notice it’s the stitches holding together this Frankenstein’s monster of electronica.  Why?  Because crashfaster have utilized chiptunes in a meaningful way.  They aren’t the sole elements here, merely one piece of the overall picture, much like the various images of pills and consumerism in the art are the swarm around the waterlined chick who’s in the middle of a high.  Impressive; you can’t remove it away without losing the sound, but you also don’t get lost in the gimmicky substance of it, either.  Plus the vocals, awesome, and there’s a huge variety of them.  Everything from clean, Japanese cosplay rally cries to degraded, melting electronic throat noise that sounds like “Nose Candy” for the future.  superchroma is wonderful on a number of levels, but the big deal is how crashfaster mixed so much sound into so little space by integrating chiptunes without relying on them entirely.  Awesome stuff, we’re totally addicted.  Rehab imminent, followed shortly thereafter by complete relapse and then an intervention where everyone starts to do it and the whole family succumbs.


crashfaster Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

crashfaster – superchroma
Monobomb Records
5 / 5