Caleb Wysor: Ultra-Über-Lo-Fi

calebwysorAfter five years of running ANBAD, I occasionally finding myself slipping into the kind of territory I always meant to avoid.

By which I mean, I sometimes realise I’m trying to convince myself out of featuring the exact kind of bands that ANBAD is supposed to be scratching around for.

I guess it’s partially down to of the ever-increasing volume of new music being made; and the fact that since I have been running ANBAD, production values of even the lowliest artist have improved beyond almost all recognition.

Furnish yourself with cheap computers, mics and other assorted paraphernalia, and – with a little smart mixing, which only costs patience and a good ear – you can rustle up a song that sounds almost professional.

So when I was in the process of mentally shuffling Caleb Wysor‘s ultra-über-lo-fi songlet towards the ‘No’ pile – it occurred to me: just what was I thinking?

I mean, yes, Some Other Day is a song so lacking in production values that at one point I think I heard the creaking of the chair he was sitting on – but isn’t this the point? In how many songs do you feel like the music is being made up right before your very ears?

Talk about minimalist. This is a song that appears to have fallen together by mistake, whilst a man half-sings in his sleep. And yet it’s exactly this cobbled-together, roughly-hewn, out-of-balance nature that makes the song so weirdly endearing.

Some Other Day doesn’t have what most people would regard as finesse. The song leaps about, shuttling ideas back and forth, crowbarring meoldies into tight corners, and splashing drums haphazardly everywhere. But this frenzy of ideas, and the sheer, wonky joy of creation is what elevates this song above a trillion identikit blisswave haircut bands.

Caleb says he wants to buy “a keyboard and midi controller because I made this with a desktop and a microphone and that was not fun,” and while he’s probably right that it wasn’t easy or fun, maybe without this unwanted complexity, the essence of what made this one song so interesting will be lost.

Who knows. Probably not even Caleb.


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