Hi Pigeons! You may recall our recent in-depth exploration of the remarkable Chris Portka. We’re thrilled to share the exciting news that Portka has unleashed his extraordinary masterpiece, “trash music,” on vinyl! We’ve had the privilege of engaging in an insightful interview with Chris, delving into the captivating realms of music and songwriting.
Chris Portka’s latest LP release, “trash music,” establishes him as a genuine artistic maverick in the music industry. The album, dropped on August 1st, is a resounding testament to his unwavering dedication to authenticity and emotional resonance in his craft. With 12 captivating tracks, “trash music” offers an immersive journey into the depths of Portka’s creative psyche, showcasing his abilities as both a singer-songwriter and an experimental musician. Notable tracks like “to burn him up, is it too much to bear?,” “wildlife,” “bojeum,” and “life is the anything else” stand out for their unapologetically raw intensity and their departure from conventional musical norms.
Portka’s versatility shines through “the sky is blue in hell,” a folk gem infused with delicate acoustic guitar and evocative lyrics, and “dream factory,” which beckons listeners into a psychedelic realm of impassioned expression. The album also features moments of spirited velocity, with tracks like “women are hot” and “we’re in this together,” infusing a burst of kinetic energy. “Disco trash metal reversal” blends ethereal and 90s grunge rock influences, creating a captivating crossroads of eras and inspirations. The LP concludes with “let’s go play today,” an acoustic-driven ballad that weaves elements of shoe-gaze and psychedelia, leaving the listener with a sense of wistful introspection. “trash music” is a remarkable testament to artistic independence, fearless creativity, and the power of embracing intuition over formulaic norms, defying categorization and emphasizing the authenticity of emotional expression in music.
AN INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS PORTKA:
RTP: Who are your greatest musical inspirations right now?
CP: Electrelane helps me get through long stretches where I’m coding, writing, or otherwise concentrating. Palberta is my favorite band right now, and I would lose my shit if they did a tour of California. Also, David Berman for the meticulously brutal introspection of being painfully self-reflective. My buddy Jasper Leach just did an album with Burner Herzog that kicks ass. And the debut album of Asha Wells, also came out this year – fantastic on repeat. The next album I’m recording I’ve been listening to Credit Electric, Skip Spence, and Wilco’s “A Ghost is Born” for vibes.
RTP: Your music is so interesting and draws from many different influences. Who did you grow up listening to?
CP: Lots of Blink-182, Korn, Metallica, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson. I’d love to do something in each of these respective styles. I’m coming to the end of a road with making statues lately. Next time, I’m going to construct some skyscrapers.
RTP: What is the impact of songwriting and music creating on your mental health and life?
CP: Positive. If I don’t do it, I will die.
RTP: When did you write your first song? What age? What was it about?
CP: You’re going to have to define Song for me here because I’ve been singing stupid tunes since as long as I’ve had a memory. Something about my blanket as a child, probably.
RTP: What is your personal favorite song on the record? Why?
CP: The genesis for the record started because I had to put out “Let’s Go Play Today.” I worked on this song for 7–8 years, and it was finally close to being done enough to take a picture.
RTP: What song has the most meaning to you? Why?
CP: Right now…Dream Factory. I was unemployed for over a year and lost all my savings. I feel fortunate to have had savings to begin with, a lot of people aren’t so lucky. I’m feeling better now, got a decent job, but I was looking for a way to justify my endless existence inside a screen if I couldn’t pay rent. I think the song works and I want to listen to it again.
RTP: Which song was the hardest to write? Why?
CP: None of them were hard to write. I write all the time, so when I sing I just look at what I’ve been writing. I take the best parts, or the worst parts, or combine shit or change it in the moment. If you want to write, then write. It’s not hard for me to write, I just have to keep doing it every day until a song appears.
RTP: Which song was the hardest to record? Why?
CP: The hardest thing in making the record is my endless urge to sculpt and re-sculpt within this psychedelic impressionism. Should I take this section out? Should I mute this instrument here? Should I punch in another guitar or vocal take over there? What does this song sound like next to that song? Do I want to change this lyric? What if I add / remove / change more effects knobs? How can I make this more like what it is? More extreme or complicated or simple or quiet?
Buy the VINYL record on BandCamp:
Listen to the record on Spotify:
Written by Ryan Cassata, click here to request a review