When Br1ght Pr1mate flashed across my computer screen, urging me to click on through to the other side, I found myself intrigued. Their ‘genre’ of music, is called Chiptune. I thought of Chippendales, those beefcakes that brightened up many a ‘girls nights out’ from my flirty thirty era. Then I thought of Alvin & The Chipmunks from my parenting years, and then back to the dancing naughty boys colliding with sexual fantasy of my Milf reign. It was a nice stroll down the proverbial ‘memory lane’, but indeed the Chiptune music scene is none of these things.
According to Wikipedia, “A chiptune also known as chip music or 8-bit music, is synthesized electronic music produced (or emulated) by the sound chips of vintage computers, video game consoles, and arcade machines, as well as with other methods such as emulation.” Essentially, all the music is created from video game and computer chips; bringing the Nintendo and Gameboy consoles from the Eighties, back in style and demand.
I popped Night Animals in and came to realize that ‘genre’ might be too strong a word, for what these Bostonian electro-prog rockers are doing. In the wake of an anti-music fundamentalist coup in the industry itself, Bright Primate finds their roots set deep in originality. They give new meaning to the terms ‘recycle’ and ‘upcylce’ Their ten track debut album, set to drop at the end of this month, is a kaleidoscopic, likable repetitive synth mix that recalls artfully experimental bands like Bjork, Thom Yorke (solo) or The Sugarcubes. (Please note: SOLO Thom Yorke—not Radiohead Thom Yorke!) Disco, 80’s Dance Clubs, Raves and EDM, have all been a part of dance music culture; each capturing a certain time in music evolution. Meet the duo of Lydia Marsala and James Therrien, who are ushering in the newest era of dance-able music; “nerds dancing in clubs to Nintendos,” says Therrien. Serving up taut, synth beats, atmospheric vocals that worm into your brain and chilly, synthetic soundscapes of modern electronica, Bright Primates, are leading the pack as ‘purveyors of cool-kid nerd rock’.
Bright Primate began in 2008, have been steadily, organically growing a loyal fan base and selling out unpretentiously vogue and reputable Boston clubs like Middlesex Lounge and Middle East. They have become regulars at conventions, on radio and have done soundtracks for video games, including Rock Band. Make no mistake; this is a strong synth album; futuristic—ranging from dreamy and smooth to unconventional and odd. I am reminded of something I learned in college in an Art History class about Jackson Pollack’s splatter works. Jackson Pollack was most famous for his unique style of ‘drip painting’ and was a very important figure in the abstract expressionist movement. The human mind is drawn to the fractal patterns that appear in his strokes because of the simple fact that the human mind likes symmetry and patterns. What appears random is in fact possessing of a deeper order. And so it is with the music of Bright Primate, as they splatter seemingly random sounds across an auditory canvas, they create, for lack of a better definition; something akin to a Jackson Pollack painting, that you can hear.