Snow Blindness is Crystal Antz
(2009, Flemish Eye)
RIYL = Kemialliset Ystavat, Squarepusher, Dan Friel
I didn’t miss out on Black Mold last year due to not knowing about it. As an avid fan of all things touched by Chad VanGaalen, I was well aware of this release. Nor was it because I didn’t listen to it. The album was simply too much. It absolutely overwhelmed me with the sheer volume of ideas. Honestly, even with a cursory understanding of the genuine awesomeness that popped up on the few listens I did give it, something about it short circuited my brain and I had to distance myself for rewiring. After completing my bachelors degree this spring, I rediscovered Black Mold, and now, with full mental faculty, I’ve found this to be quite the underrated enigma. It still short circuits my brain frequently, but, growing accustomed to the occurrence, I now welcome the experience as part of the instrumental soup that VanGaalen has prepared with this side project. Both electronic and not, I’ve found it a bit difficult to categorize or compare Snow Blindness is Crystal Antz to anything. There are a few elements of everything lodged in there, but there is a whole lot of newness – some genuine world-making – as well that makes this something you’ll not want to sleep on. It’s a whole new…thing! Of course, VanGaalen’s fingerprints show through quite a bit, but it’s a wonderful thing to experience a creative vision so unique and personal, especially after coming to know VanGaalen so well through his pop records. Oh, and the music videos (also illustrated by VanGaalen) are insane.