Videodrone: Chris Rehm, “Coming Up Roses”

Crawford Philleo

By now, the name Chris Rehm should definitely switch on some light bulbs for readers of the Tome, considering the fact that we've reviewed just about all the solo releases he's put together and simply adore his work in New Orleans spazz-pop duo Caddywhompus. Here we find a tantalizing preview of his new solo release, which is sounding like it will be a further exploration of the drone-as-pop aesthetic he's been crafting over the course of his short (but incredibly consistent) career. For the first half of “Coming Up Roses,” Rehm sings the song's lovely tune atop a dizzying swirl of white noise and a sound I can only describe as just plain “shimmer,” all atop a crunchy, thumping pulse that harkens back to his still-incredible debut tape, Salivary Stones. The second half reminds me a lot of the last four minutes of SY's “Karen Revisited,” showcasing a splay of feedback and various tones both harsh and calming that, when smelted in Rehm's post-productive cauldron, form something that is altogether gorgeous.

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And the video. I want to write about it, but I'd rather you get what's going on here from the horse's mouth, because it's really something. Brings new meaning to the term “Videodrone” as we've unabashedly been calling these video posts for a couple of years now. Here's Rehm's explanation (via the video's source Vimeo page):

The source video was created by plugging an 1/8″-RCA cable out of my computer playing this song, into the RCA video-in on a little TV. I put it on the “video” setting, and the TV converted the audio information to organized static – the louder the sound is, the brighter the static, and the lower the frequency, the wider the band is. This seems to work on most TVs, which is cool. I also added some post effects (orb and color).

Yep. That's what happens in the video. You should watch it.

“Coming Up Roses” is the last track off Mr. Rehm's new album (which is out May 29th), [i found an] Elephant Ring [and gave it to you], another co-release from Chinquapin and Community Records.

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