The art of making it as a self-branded entrepreneur is an undertaking that media and entertainment professionals have been striving to master for years now. The ever-shifting priorities and preferences of the world’s web surfers certainly have not made this challenge any easier to dissect and-or master but occasionally someone manages to rise above the crowded waters and do more than just tread in place. What a person does when they reach this point of stability with a following, shapes the way their present and future audiences feel about and interact with them.
In the case of comedian, film maker, lecturer, songwriter, and otherwise multi-hat wearer, Christopher Bingham, what this London based creative does is, at the very least, two fold: he keeps new projects coming all the time and, he is willing to put his audience first. The latter can mean different things to different people but for Bingham, who’s bodies of work rely heavily on a community based pay model, when music making comes into play, this means doing things like releasing a project that comes at no cost to the public and the presence thereof is hidden behind no curtains.
Yes, music gets released for free all the time. What makes this worth noting is Bingham’s method of sustainment. The fact that there is no hesitation on his part, to let people know there’s an EP for the taking, shows that Bingham not only has a steady and loyal audience but that the trust between is great enough to not mind a fully free offering that leaves people to decide monetary value for themselves.
The EP at hand, which was released earlier in the month on 8 April 2017, is titled, Entropy is Important. Aside from standing out as a free download, established supporters of Bingham’s work will be able to connect this four track release to its full length predecessor, MMCCXV, which was made by Bingham and a slew of other musical artists that make up Bingham’s collaborative band, High Five Spaceship, and released just over a year ago. Entropy is Important is portrayed as an epilogue to the highly conceptual MMCCXV, which weaved together electronica, rock, a variety of tempos and rhythmic hooks, lots of distorted effects across the whole album, and a somewhat dark and brooding narrative that traversed the length of the record in the form of sung choruses and spoken word dialogues.
Though Entropy is Important exists as an instrumental work and, unlike MMCCXV, was forged solely by Bingham from composition to mastering, the EP presents a strong thread of relation to the 10 tracks that came before it. Electronically based and synthesizer heavy sounds continue to be Bingham’s primary stylistic driver, with low-pitched, laser like tones creating a see-saw style melodic hook; cutting above a sprightly hand percussion rhythm on opener “Money is Over.” Here listeners are provided an immediate sense of tonal cohesion and related advancement.
Similar also to MMCCXV, Bingham retains an aspect of instrumental contrast to serve as an elemental palate cleanser between so much digitized sound. “Obey Laws” is kicked off and held up by an intense piano part that comes right in from beat one. Additional contrast hovers between each hand, as the left plays a consistent rhythm of eighth notes across intervals of thirds, fifths, and octaves, while the right plays notes several octaves up in a rapid, fluttering, almost improvisational fashion. Topped off by a recurring cymbal hit near the back half and a slightly quickened tempo, this track generates the most subtle angles of intrigue because despite its very repetitious structure, the combination of parts and performance style give the track just a gossamer drizzling of character like that of piano work by contemporary composers like Philip Glass, John Luther Adams, or Thomas Adès.
“Gnosis” keeps the thoughts of an epilogue going with just its title to start. Bingham, who is known for playing with metaphors, symbolism, and use of indirect references in his music (Just look up “Wisla,” and ask him about the reasoning behind giving a track the title, “A Second Golden Record.”), has bestowed this track with a Greek title that refers to an esoteric knowledge of spiritual truths. Its placement in the penultimate slot of the EP seems fitting, as listeners will be well tuned into the musical aesthetic of High Five Spaceship and be set to handle “Gnosis’s” very layered and textural qualities, while also seeing this third piece as a kind of acme point before the very electronically concentrated closer, “Edith Keeler” wraps up the extended play.
Though the latter is about as sonically busy as the former, “Edith Keeler” – with its reference to a pivotal plot character from classic science fiction series Star Trek, and very synthesized, micro tone-based sound foundation – feels much more direct and forthright in revealing an alignment of associations to blending the past with the future and the digital with the natural. This connection unfolds nicely, not only within the track itself, but also is a wonderful last nod between the two visions of MCCXV and Entropy is Important. Perhaps the most interesting detail concerning this point however, does not even deal with the music. Amidst talk of thematic bonds and finality, the mention of entropy in the EP’s own title is the most fascinating aspect of all, as, outside of thermodynamics, entropy’s definition is, “the degradation of the matter and energy within the universe, into an ultimate state of inert uniformity.”
Thus, maybe these four tracks serve as a way for Bingham and High Five Spaceship to see this particular pair of chapters, first MMCCXV and now Entropy is Important, to a more definitive and homogenous close, before stepping back to begin thinking of what music to make next.
Entropy is Important is available now and offered at a rate of “name your price.”
Download or stream it through these online outlets:
Hit With Wrench
Keep connected with Christopher Bingham and the goings-on of High Five Spaceship through Christopher Bingham’s official website, High Five Spaceship’s official website, and these social media platforms: