Endless Loop: Surf Solar

fuckbuttonsHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Surf Solar” by Fuck Buttons

For a stretch of time back in 2009/2010, every single outdoor music event I attended got rained on. And not just a quickie shower or anything like that, but a soaking, steady downpour to make things wet, muddy, and often miserable. South By Southwest, Austin City Limits, Free Press Summer Fest in Houston…it didn’t matter. The clouds opened and drenched us everywhere I went. Fun Fun Fun Fest in 2009 was particularly nasty on that last day. The rain was cold, the ground was muddy and slippery, and the temperature dropped into the 50’s, leaving me ill for the next few following days after. But it was totally worth it. I got to see Danzig. I got to see Crystal Castles. I got to see Trish Keenan perform with Broadcast and with Atlas Sound. And I got to see British electronic duo Fuck Buttons, whose particular brand of Krautrock and post-rock indebted electro-noise-fusion lifted from my feet and blasted me into space, scattering my remains amongst the cosmos. And all of this despite the raindrops hitting me in the face.

“Surf Solar,” the opening track from that year’s Tarot Sport LP, was a highlight, both of the festival performance and the album in general. As the song begins, electronic textures and noises bleep and crackle together like the sounds of computers and space-age equipment warming up. The motorik bass beat begins to pulse, those textures and noises aligning, while new and dramatic waves of synthesized sound join in layer upon layer. It’s like getting strapped in, the countdown beginning, the sky opening up before you. And then you’re launched. And you move faster and faster, the images of this world and beyond blurring into indecipherable colors along your periphery. Single points of light become endless lines. The present and future in front of you bends and morphs, a barrage of images, colors, symbols, like diving into some magical realm or acid trip. Everything is connected. Everything is eternal. Everything has meaning. And then you meet God. Or a space baby.

And then it concludes. And you’re back on Earth.

I wish more songs made me feel like that.


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

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