Friday, June 4, 2010
Chocolate Genius Inc. To Release Swansongs on One Little Indian
By IRT STAFF
BROOKLYN, New York: At summer's end, Brooklyn rock mainstay Mark Anthony Thompson, aka Chocolate Genius, will release Swansongs, the fourth and final title of his epic extended trilogy that started with 1998's Black Music and continued with 2001's masterful Godmusic and 2004's Black Yankee Rock.
Similar to Godmusic, which dealt with the passing of his mother, Swansongs is a song cycle chronicling the death of his estranged father. Thompson even utilizes a collage of voicemails left by his dad whilst trying to get a hold of him over the years, similar to the way he utilized his mom's singing on Godmusic's opening number, "Perfidia".
"I used the recordings of my parents on both releases because they are priceless artifacts to me," explains Thompson, "and I wanted to lock them in the time capsule that each of these documents are. My children's children will be able to download a little piece of their history. An indulgent, guilty conceit and perhaps nothing more - but I love the recording of my mom singing and the humor and spirit of my folks shines on both offerings."
The same can be said for every word and note plastered across the pages of Swansongs, an album that ties up the loose ends of Thompson's never-ending story. Meanwhile, his Chocolate Genius guise shifts ever-so-subtly, as Thompson embraces a simple idea—to "record something I didn't have to apologize for...a complete listening experience."
An abridged track-by-track translation from Choc's PR firm: the fluttering falsetto foreground of "Like a Nurse"; the speaker-panning headphone symphonies of "How I Write My Songs"; the creepy, claustrophobic chamber pop of "Lump"; and ultimate Swansong “Ready Now," which eventually fades off into the distance alongside one last lonesome chord. The only thing missing is the creaking sound of a closed door.
Swansongs comes out on August 31st on Bjork's One Little Indian label.
Chocolate Genius live: