Justin Taylor – Continuum

justin taylor

Have you ever wanted to hear someone just tear the shit out of a harpsichord? I get if that’s not the first thing on your list to do, but do it anyway. It’s worth it. This shit sounds like a deranged vampire huddled in some Transylvanian basement, out of his mind on a mix of speed, ritalin, and adderall, playing his woes at breakneck speeds to some very confused bats. I honestly laughed out loud at certain parts without ever knowing why. Not to say this is a humorous album. Like any great classical musician, Justin has the ability to create feelings of joy, despair, melancholy, introspection, awe, and nostalgia within a single five-minute track. And the chops on this guy? Fuck me, it’s something that you have to hear to believe. I’m not the only one to think so. Justin’s first album won more awards than you can shake a battery operated stick at, not to mention he won the first prize at the Bruges Competition and was given the Révélation Musicale Prize of the French Critics’ Circle. This baby-faced fuck has earned some major classical cred. 

This album combines the music of Scarlatti and Legeti. What’s bizarre about this, besides each composer sounding like a long forgotten pasta, is that one was born in 1685 and the other was born in 1923. But that’s not the only difference between the two. You might have scoffed at my earlier comparison to vampires, but poor Legeti was born during some fucked up shit happening in Transylvania. His style was mega suppressed by the powers that be and, for the pure and lovely insanity which is Legeti, it was torture. Most of the time, it’s easy to glean something is a Legeti piece if it sounds haunted as fuck. It’s unbelievably fun to listen to in terror. It’s the kind of shit Aphex Twin (2) would listen to and scream, “that’s my jam!” Scarlatti, on the other hand, was praised and loved and free to do what he wished. Seriously, the dude wrote pieces for the Queen of Spain. Great gig. 

The pairing of these two wouldn’t be obvious at first. But when you listen through the album, it makes complete sense. Both these dudes were unbelievably talented and seemed to trying to say the same thing despite being 200 years apart. The greatest part of this album by far though is Justin’s bubbling enthusiasm. The guy absolutely rocks this shit. Rarely have I heard the harpsichord, held on to the armrests of my chair, and whispered, “fuck ya” to my cat. In some strange alternate world, this is the music of car chases and chaos. It’s a slippy and fun descent into blissful madness that also keeps you in peaceful contemplation. By the end of this, you’ll find yourself staring into decrepit basements, dilapidated alleys, and haunted houses with a smile. Because, most of the time, the only reason these things inspire fear is because they’re unknown. After this album, you’ll be like beloved friends. 

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