Drew Daniel is no stranger to unorthodox musical experiments. His main project with his partner M.C. Schmidt, Matmos, has released some of the most conceptually ambitious experimental music of the last couple of decades without ever sacrificing their sense of fun. The best description I’ve ever heard of Daniel as an artist came from the man himself when I interviewed the duo in 2012: “Somewhere between Mark Twain and Sol Lewitt. That’s where you’ll find us.” That spirit is still going strong as Daniel announces the release, under his solo moniker the Soft Pink Truth, of Why Do The Heathen Rage. The new record is composed entirely of black metal covers, but reimagined as house and rave music, and featuring collaborations with the likes of Antony Hegarty, Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak, and Terence Hannum of Locrian. Blending black metal, often associated with bigotry, with the anthemic music of ’80s gay culture, it comes together as a fascinating glimpse into the mind of Daniel processing being a gay fan of black metal. But just as those disparate sounds are blended, the critique here is wrapped in an absurdly odd and surreal presentation, as you can hear from his cover of Venom’s proto-extreme metal classic “Black Metal” and the corpse-paint press photo of Daniel above. Listen to it below.
Why Do The Heathen Rage 6/17 via Thrill Jockey.