Label: Discos Mariscos Records
Chad Matheny was probably one of those kids in school who didn’t quite fit in. It’s safe to say he probably liked music much different from the jocks or other normal kids. He may also have been one of those intellectual geniuses who always was writing stuff down and befuddling those around him. I say this because his latest record, Central Hug/Friendarmy/Fractal Dunes wears its freak flag proudly. Recording as Emperor X, Matheny takes what initially seems as a congested murk of eclectic sounds and straightens it all up into something weird yet charming.
Emperor X’s lies musically somewhere between Beck, Neutral Milk Hotel and Fad Gadget. His surreal music, nonlinear lyrics at times display relations to Bernard Sumner or Wayne Coyne, whilst vocals sometimes bare striking similarities to Stephen Malkmus or Dean Wareham. His songs are composed of freeform abstractions, wedged into sentences and placed nicely amidst a swirling backdrop of sounds. In much simpler words, this is an interesting, experimental album from an artist of great promise.