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[ sunsets & sushi: experiments in spectral deconstruction ]


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Sunsets and Sushi - Click to view!While in college, I had to take a few Literary Theory classes, and within the core curriculum I learned about the post-modern buzzword: deconstruction. Deconstruction became the gigantic umbrella under which all criticism could flourish. No longer did the text remain neutral; now every word, every moment of pause and reflection, held a deep purpose. For instance, each nuance could be seen as the result of the author subconsciously projecting him/herself onto the text. In this movement, a reader could tear the words apart (not literally; otherwise the book would be ruined) and find a new meaning within the work.

The theory says this can be done to any piece of writing, but do songs meet the same success? I never thought they could, until David Crowder embraced the theory and applied it to his music. According to whatdoesthissay.com (a site translating the Asian characters written inside the CD jacket), "The deconstruction of a text does not aim to render it meaningless; instead, the goal is to probe and extend the potential meanings of it in order to better understand it. The purpose of this recording is to situate our contemporary music production in relation to these issues that inform it. [...] We offer this [album] in hopes that your life tears it apart and puts it back together and/or that it tears apart your life and puts it back together." This sounds like a grand illusion for what would appear to be a simple remix of several key songs found on Illuminate. But when I applied my literary skills onto what I heard rather than read, I found success. Sunsets and Sushi manages to transform traditional DCB worship songs into techno-driven pieces. The listener enters a world where the song "Intoxicating" becomes just that; the synthetic rhythms and beats lull the listener into a dreamland. The already beautiful "Deliver Me" becomes the "Antidromic Mix" and lifts the listener to a higher plane of understanding through delicate keyboard strokes. "O Praise Him (All This For a King)" turns into an "Oceanic Mix," embracing an Oriental, water-like sound throughout. These songs would fit nicely into a Chillout recording, or as a companion piece to Andy Hunter's work. Perhaps if the apt.core project went on tour, the David Crowder Band could contribute some of their eclectic remixes.

To be honest, I've fallen in love with this album so much that I wish it could have been longer, perhaps even introducing some new material. The whole record has the soothing feel of "End of October" from The Lime CD. Rumor tells me that drummer Jeremy Bush is the techno lover of the band, so it's most likely that the rave/dance style heard here will only remain on side projects and not appear on full-length albums. But one can hope.

The theory behind Sunsets and Sushi seems to work. The songs are reconfigured into completely different creations, and because of this, the words can be felt and heard in differing ways. By deconstructing Illuminate, this "experiment in spectral deconstruction" stands on its own two feet and becomes an entirely new creation. If you're a David Crowder fan, you'll either find the album silly (especially when accosted by the uber-fast beat on "No One Like You"), or you will dance your way into a new construction of meaning.
- Hollie Stewart
March 2005
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