Chris Portka emerges as an undeniable artistic force, a true maverick in the realm of music creation. With his latest LP release, titled “trash music,” Chris delivers a resounding testament to his unwavering commitment to authenticity and emotional resonance in his craft. The album, which dropped on August 1st, is a stunning embodiment of his dedication to breaking free from the constraints of conventional industry norms, embracing his instincts, and evoking powerful sentiments through his compositions.
In “trash music,” comprising a captivating collection of 12 tracks, listeners are granted an immersive journey into the depths of a creator’s psyche. Through his role as both a singer-songwriter and an experimental musician, Chris Portka employs an impressive array of musical tools to convey a range of emotions that stir the soul.
Among the standout tracks, pieces like “to burn him up, is it too much to bear?,” “wildlife,” “bojeum,” and “life is the anything else” are striking examples of his ability in utilizing synthesized sounds to manifest a tumultuous wave of feelings. These compositions exude a raw and unfiltered intensity, unapologetically unfurling a torrent of emotions without the constraints of conventional musical conventions.
Diverging from the electronic realm, “the sky is blue in hell” emerges as a true folk gem within the album. Infused with delicately plucked acoustic guitar strings, a gentle vocal hum, and evocative lyrics that vividly paint imagery, this particular track showcases Chris’s ability to effortlessly transition between genres, demonstrating his musical versatility and creative energy.
The enigmatic allure of “dream factory” beckons the listener into a psychedelic realm, where each instrument becomes a vessel of impassioned expression. The undeniably raw nature of the performance crafts an entrancing atmosphere, invoking a sense of trippiness that becomes irresistible to surrender to. Similarly, “your music is trash” resonates with echoes of 70s psychedelic and folk influences, transporting listeners through a time warp that merges decades of musical inspiration.
Notably, there are moments of spirited velocity as well, exemplified by the pulse-pounding rhythms of “women are hot” and “we’re in this together.” Both tracks, driven by synths and steeped in psychedelic elements, infuse the album with a burst of kinetic energy. In the midst of this sonic journey, “disco trash metal reversal” emerges as a fascinating juncture where the ethereal blends seamlessly with the echoes of 90s grunge rock, creating a captivating crossroads of eras and influences.
Venturing further into the depths of experimentation, “hold my hand” becomes a vessel of sonic exploration, propelling listeners into a new dimension of reality. The album culminates in “let’s go play today,” an acoustic-driven ballad that seamlessly weaves elements of shoe-gaze and psychedelia, concluding the record on a note of wistful introspection.
In essence, Chris Portka’s “trash music” LP is a remarkable testament to artistic independence and fearless creativity. By rejecting formulaic norms and embracing his intuition, Chris crafts an auditory experience that defies categorization. This album serves as a vivid testament to the power of artistic authenticity and a reminder that true artistry lies in the courage to venture beyond boundaries and allow emotions to flow freely through music.
Listen to Chris Portka’s awesome record here:
I’d always wanted to be a musician since I was a kid, I started out as a drummer – entranced by the strange splashes and slamming shuffles of grunge in the 90s. I picked up my father’s guitar and practiced, but I could never sing. A crippling anxiety and panic attacks when I tried to sing Elliott Smith for my first girlfriend. I always jammed though, long hours spent spinning aural webs on acoustic or synthesizer or piano.
When I turned 31, I decided I needed to sing and I spent 5 years in Voice Movement Therapy pretending to be a Rhinoceros fighting to befriend an Elephant before I could properly make a peep in public. I’m happy to say I now sing with joy at shows both solo and in bands.. but my roots burrow in this impressionistic improv that reflects a fierce internal conflict.
I call this trash music. Screaming to be heard, oblivious of myself and having a rough go at feeling loved, mistaking beauty for wholeness, and touching the sparkling bit of debris within detritus of curled ash.
I love music. It’s one of the few places I can feel any sense of control in life. The times we live and the collective shit we’ve experienced goes deep and, for the most part, we have very little say about what happens in this life. I accept the good with the bad as I hope to accept myself – the beauty within the trash. – Chris Portka
Written by Ryan Cassata