Corduroy Institute – Eight/Chance/Meetings

Release Date – 21st June 2021

Words: Ben Mills

‘Eight/Chance/Meetings’ is the latest release from Corduroy Institute, and one worthy of your full attention. Corduroy Institute is a “San Diego-based non-profitable institution specialising in sonic research and development”. Before we dive into the newest release from Corduroy Institute, I must first talk about their creative process, as it is a huge part of their sonic exploration.

This release sees them pushing the boundaries further by introducing a new element of chance into their process. They incorporated a random number generator which would select two randomly generated albums to serve as inspiration for each track on this album. For example, track 8, “In This Confessional” is inspired by the albums “Empires & Dance” and “Misplaced Childhood” by Simple Minds and Marillion respectively. If this isn’t already experimental enough, the Institute’s lyrics are taken from cut-up pieces of magazines and the music is created by improvising over a rhythm machine.

The outcome of all this is rather unconventional and left field, however given the time and opportunity is rather splendid and incredible. With inspiration coming from everywhere this album is incredibly hard to pin to any genre, but perhaps that’s its strongest asset. It’s one of a kind, which is rather an oddity in music these days.

It’s jagged and unpolished music hides thought provoking lyrics beneath. “Everything’s wrong, and I’ve always loved it, I might at this point almost desire it, this is equally true of all of us”. Taken from track 1 “Everything’s Wrong (And I’ve Always Loved It)” is just one example of the shrewd and perceptive lyricism found all over this record.

Corduroy Institute have released one of the most interesting albums I’ve heard. As a band who’s mission “is to use modern technology to bridge the gap between experimental methodology and digestible product” they really have set the ball rolling in what is musically possible. I highly recommend this album to anyone who wants to sink their teeth into something new and avant-garde.

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