William Brittelle - Mohair Time Warp

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Release Date: May 8, 2008

Albums by Artist

Mohair Time Warp is the brainchild of composer/performance artist William Brittelle. It is a full-length, lip-synched (when live) art-music concept album debut featuring an 8-person, mixed rock/classical ensemble. Possible descriptions include: a punk-classical collage version of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds; a marriage of Basquiat, Prince and Debussy; and/or Captain Beefheart put through an art-pop filter with a well-dressed, wildly charismatic lip-synching frontman.

The electronic components of these works mainly focus on vintage synthesizers and rudimentary drum machines, while the string playing most often buoyant and propulsive with interspersing moments of tenderness and calm. The pieces in the Future Shock series focus on visceral impact and power, while the prologue Acid Rain on the Mirrordome, the title track, and Loon Birds in Meshed Crystal attempt to capture a sense of catharsis and longing (while still being, at times, joyous). The title of the project is a reference to the Chambered Nautilus, a fascinating marine creature inhabiting a complex and beautiful shell. The inner chambers of the animal’s shell display a nearly perfect equiangular spiral, and it is often captured and killed for it’s beauty. Most uniquely, the Chambered Nautilus is comprised of both organic and inorganic material, with the line between being and shell often blurred to the point of becoming indiscriminate. This fluid duality (if there is such a thing) in effect mirrors the relationship between strings and electronics in this project, with both elements coexisting to the point of becoming one.

Press and News:

The Rambler: “There are a lot of artsong composer–performers around these days, but Brittelle is one of the most compelling I’ve come across.”

Time Out New York: Brittelle’s crafty, catchy music taps into the best of what Frank Zappa’s oeuvre has to offer, while his surrealist lyrics suggest a copy of Roget’s Thesaurus, the complete Allen Ginsberg, and a Taco Bell menu fed into Cuisinart. Factor in Brittelle’s charisma, and the results are completely electrifying.

WNYC: Featured Pick – “…This song cycle is unhinged from genre, from conventional narrative, and even from conventional singing…The music doesn’t just combine elements of rock and classical — it flits from one to the other with often neck-snapping speed.”