Lost Masters’ new “industrial trip-hop album” is titled “Pork Belly Futures”
By Julien A. Luebbers
For the spokesperson-Revue
For local artist Caleb Strine, advances in music technology have led to the evolution of his own sound. Under his stage name Lost Masters, Strine recently released “Pork Belly Futures,” an album that makes extensive use of all the powerful tools at a creator’s fingertips to achieve an intersectional and dynamic result.
“Pork Belly Futures” is the biggest solo release of Strine’s career to date. The album is built on a foundation of industrial music (a genre that applies the tools of electronics to dark, grindy hard rock) but topped with rap-style lyricism. It’s a mix that Strine called “industrial trip-hop”.
How does one arrive at such a mixture of genres? “It was a wild trip for me, musically,” Strine said. “I was a poet and I had friends who were in groups. I was in a choir too, and they were like, ‘Oh, you sing, you should be in our band.’ So I got into it, and it’s been an evolution of learning how to write songs and learning what kind of creative voice I want to have.
With “Pork Belly Futures”, Strine puts her own distinct voice in wax, drawn from both decades of musical passion and more recent socio-political concerns. His industrial musical compositions and dark, deep voice describe the world Strine finds himself in as a sort of dystopia, but inseparable from our own reality.
Take, for example, “This Isn’t Me”, a track that Strine described as “robotic but moving”. Sonically, this occurs as a series of waves, with the constant, catchy percussion helping to stabilize the swelling and shrinking of the synths. The lyrics are succinct and brutal, landing on the ear with a thud; they are impossible to ignore.
A line like “play the game / pretend to smile / shake hands / live the lie” invokes a social critique of the facade that individuals have to put in place in the face of the “game”, which one could say that it refers to. to the society.
“With this album, in particular, I was coming back to what I got into music for in the first place: writing lyrics, writing songs, which have more structure. And all of this is influenced by what has happened over the past five years or so, ”between presidencies and social justice movements.
Over the past five years, Strine’s music has taken on a new role. “I felt like there was a gap between what I was doing musically and what was going on in the world,” he said. The creation of this album “connected many elements that I had written about before, namely capitalism, the American dream and a personal reflection on these things”.
It is therefore an openly political album, which addresses and expresses a large part of the anger prevalent in society. So it makes sense that Strine cites Rage Against the Machine as an influence; there is a certain similarity in their vocal expressions of frustration.
Returning for a moment to the sound of the album, a large part of “Pork Belly Futures” is part of the philosophy of more is more, favoring “solid walls of sound” (to quote Elton John) to soft compositions. and minimalist. It was, of course, on purpose, as Strine worked on her sound, “getting thicker, more textured, and a lot … a lot more.”
While Strine records a few parts live (some synths and vocals, of course), “most of (the work) is in the laptop”. This is why the album sounds so tight, held together by the rhythms at the base of each track (“When I was little I was a percussionist, so I usually start with the beat.”)
As an album, “Pork Belly Futures” is a cohesive mass, dark vibe and lingering anger that runs through every track. Strine’s lyrics are crisp and clear, an effective chord with the gritty and dark music.
And on a track-by-track basis, there are a number of noteworthy points. The opening and closing tracks, for example – “Money Is the New God” and “Death Is the Beginning” – form a complementary pair of direct and demanding tracks. Overall, it’s brain stuff; listeners will be led to reflect.
Stream “Pork Belly Futures” now on the Lost Masters Spotify page or visit Lost Masters on bandcamp.com. To learn more about Lost Masters, visit Strine’s website at lostmastersmusic.com.
Julien A. Luebbers can be contacted at [email protected]