At a particular moment in history when mainstream artists seem to be celebrated for their genreless approach to songwriting for simply integrating rap and rock without recreating the Woodstock ’99–blemished term “rap-rock” too familiarly, most of these artists still have plenty of catching up to do. Fire-Toolz has long been at the forefront of a digital-hardcore revolution melting together the contents of a Case Logic CD binder compiling more than just hard-rock staples from the turn of the century—all while integrating the sounds of vintage video game soundtracks that, upon revisiting them, go much harder than you remember.
Angel Marcloid continues this mission on her latest album, I am upset because I see something that is not there., which cycles through various subgenres branching off of screamo and ambient electronics—oftentimes simultaneously—while backing synths conjure disturbing memories of the dreaded underwater SNES levels. This range of influences dates back to an eclectic music collection Marcloid accumulated much earlier in life, as well as the era-defining technology she played it on. “I remember there was a time in my life when I had a six-CD changer,” she recalls. “I used to put Pedro the Lion and Dillinger Escape Plan in that thing and press the shuffle button and fall asleep to that. Easy.”
To take us a little deeper into her music collection, we asked Marcloid to share a playlist that best serves as a set of parameters for where her own work takes her, with an unsurprisingly varied tracklist being the result. “I think it’s obvious the correlation between the diversity in this mix, and the diversity in my own work’s color palette,” she notes of her playlist, which includes early and recent faves alike. “This mix is like a Fire-Toolz album, except written by other artists. All of these songs I am more than in love with. Essentially I see no difference between them, as they are all reflections and refractions of the same light. Going from John Wiese to Def Leppard to Nine Inch Nails is an easy feat for me.”
With additional pit stops in glitch, jazz fusion, deathcore, and beyond, the playlist opens with a cut by British prog-house artist Chicane, which she ties in to a specific formative memory. “I remember when I was in my young teens, a friend of mine was friends with an older guy who worked at Starbucks,” she recalls. “He was really into trance. He made a mix CD for her and she lent it to me. This was the first song on it. For years I had no idea who it was because he never gave her a track list. Years later I was listening to a Chicane record that I got into because of the Hackers soundtrack. This was the first song on it. I was using this song in EMDR therapy for a while.”
With I am upset out now via Hausu Mountain, you can stream the complementary playlist below.