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    Louisville songwriter Matt Moore, who records as Kaleidico, explores the deterioration of memory and identity in the contemplative lyrics, ambient soundscapes and atmospheric melodies of “Cor·tex Crum·bler,” the penultimate track on Kaleidico’s latest album, Afro·brain. (Check out our exclusive debut of the song, complete with one seriously trippy music video.) Like other tracks on the album, “Cor·tex Crum·bler” features vocals that are “drenched in reverb” and manipulated in a way that often has a menacing tone. 

    Moore started Kaleidico as a home-recording project in 2010. Evan Grulke and Justin Chodyniecki join Kaleidico for live performances, but Moore has decided not to perform his latest album on the stage. Afro·brain, which was released in January, is his third. Read our review here.

     

    You record in your bedroom. Can you describe it?

    “I just recently painted it, so it’s two blue walls, two white walls. A lot of times I’ll have low lighting, so it seems like a good place to be. Sometimes I’ll have candles and incense burning. I try to find little things that will help you get out of the day-to-day and just have a room you can go into to collapse. It’s nothing fancy. Just a typical bedroom.”

     

    What inspired the music for “Cor·tex Crum·bler”? What was on your mind when you wrote the song?

    “As far as the inspiration for the music, I can’t necessarily say. It’s like when you get a good thought when you’re writing, or when you’re doodling and you started to create a piece of art and you didn’t realize you were doing it. I just sit down and start making something and start chasing something that sounds interesting. It’s kind of like the music already was there and you’re just trying to discover it and piece it together. It’s a weird process.”

     

    What about the lyrics?

    “When my grandmother was toward the end of her life, she started getting dementia and Alzheimer’s … I started to see her lose all of those precious memories. I started to get all this fear. Not only was I so sad for her, but now I’m getting fearful, like ‘Oh shit, is this how life ends?’ Does this happen at the end? Do all of these awesome memories start to go away at the end?”

    “In the lyrics at the beginning, you hear 'I realize a little,' and it kind of sounds like someone is going in and out of consciousness and is kind of lost. Certain sections will be someone who is victim to the disease, where they realize things are not right, and other sections it kind of sounds like evil — it sounds like the disease.”

     

    In the first section, the lyrics gradually become clearer and the voice sounds more human as it goes on. How did you create this effect?

    “It starts to come into focus. Slowly coming into clear thought and seeping back out. The technique that is used there is with a stereo … I feel like everyone has seen a high, mid and low knob on a stereo. Essentially what I am doing is I am starting with no high end. You hear that something is happening, but it sounds underwater. You just slowly raise that up and you get more clarity as you raise it to high.”

     

    What did you write the song on? A notebook? A computer?

    “Everything seems to be on the go, especially if I have a quick thought when I am driving or something. Voice memos are awesome. I have to be able to do that when I can’t actually type. When I’m at home I use notepad on a Mac and I use iPhone notes to just put ideas down. It makes it so convenient.”

     

    Do you have any habits or rituals in the songwriting process?

    “Everything is pretty much digital at the beginning, but when I finalize a song and the lyrics are set in stone and the song’s pretty much complete, I have a small journal where I’ll actually handwrite the lyrics out. It’s that moment where it’s done, like I’ve spent a month on this song and I finally got done. When I do that, I just date it, write the lyrics and it’s just this feeling of letting go of it.”

     

    Photos courtesy of Matt Moore

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