Michael J. Schumacher Pushes the Borders of Pop on New diNMachine LP
'The Pleasure of Principles' is out now.
Schumacher has been pushing the boundaries of sonic practice for decades. In the ’90s, he launched his Room Pieces series, a collection of sound installations that run continuously for long periods in galleries, museums, public spaces, and people’s homes. From there he went on to collaborate with sound artists Stephen Vitiello and Oren Ambarchi, as well as famed NY film director Ken Jacobs.
Though diNMachine’s instrumental noise/pop is cerebral and at times challenging, it is also Schumacher’s most mainstream-accessible project, utilizing sound and technology to challenge traditional definitions of pop music. “With this music, from the waist down, you want to move, but from the neck up, you want to sit and figure it out,” Schumacher says of the record. “People should relax and enjoy it. I think it’s what pop music should be.” We’re told that the new record is “a fusion of hyperactive drum & bass and analog synths laced with elements of rock, funk, and soul.”
Since it began in 2012, diNMachine has released its hard-to-classify music on Greedy Dilettante and the group’s own Yocto Yotta label, with Schumacher working with artists including Michael Evans, Alejandro Flores, Hari Ganglberger, Nisi Jacobs and Brian Lawlor on the project.
Despite the diversity of sounds and the many ways the music plays with song structure, The Pleasure of Principles represents a comparatively stripped-down approach, with Schumacher on synths and Alex Goldberg on drums and electronic percussion, with additional drum programming by Jake St. John. Initially, these more minimalist recordings weren’t intended as part of the diNMachine oeuvre. “The first two records were defined, for me, by the juxtaposition of electronics and acoustic instruments, so this material felt essentially different,” Schumacher says. “But then Nisi kept saying it’s got the same basic vibe, so just make it a diNMachine record.”
01. Chop Shop
02. Failing All Charms
03. Frazier Ali
04. Grilled Fish
06. Sound Pets
The Pleasure of Principles is out now, with a full stream available below.