When it comes to Metaphorest Records’ brand new compilation, entitled Pataphorest, there’s a little something for everyone to dig into. Featuring a stunning 20 tracks, the album acts as both a 2020 year in review of the artists that the label worked with, as well as a preview of what’s to come in 2021. Released on January 22nd, there are no boring moments throughout the compilation, with a cross-section of genres being represented, such as grindcore, indie, ambient, downtempo electronic, experimental rock, and more. What’s more, seven of the 20 songs have never before been released.

It’s only been eight months since Metaphorest formally launched, but already in that time, they have dropped ten albums by ten different artists. Certainly a record label with good intentions, they have already donated funds to a variety of organizations and local nonprofits, with all proceeds from the sale of Pataphorest going to both Friend of a Friend NYC, a group supporting homelessness, and a mutual aid fundraiser for COVID-19 aid for undocumented individuals in Southeast Michigan.

To commemorate the recent release of the album and to learn more about this special compilation, we caught up with each artist featured who provided some commentary on their contribution to the album in our latest track-by-track rundown.

1. Ratsweat (NYC) – “Knuckleboard”

“Knock Knock!
Knuckleboard! Is a greaser with a chip on his shoulder.
Knuckleboard! Plays the leading role in the development of our country.
Knuckleboard! Is the bone and sinew of our industrial world.
Knuckleboard! Out of which emerges an endless variety of products essential to modern life and progress.”

2. Awksymoron (NYC) – “Otherwise”

“I wrote ‘Otherwise’ in April 2020 as a reaction to being in lockdown. It was prompted by a card from the game Cards Against Humanity that reads, ‘Hey baby, come back to my place and I’ll show you…’ I chose to write about how I missed having friends over at my house in an attempt to subvert the implications of the card.”

3. Call Me A Cab (Detroit) – “Roll Call”

“All individuals that participate in exploitative systems are themselves acting in favour of exploitation. This is our rallying cry and our ethos. ACAB.”

Artwork for ‘Pataphorest’ by Metaphorest

4. 13 necklace (NYC) – “12/31”

“‘12/31’ is a pretty good example of where I was at with the 13 necklace project for the entirety of making the darth maul EP.

Like most of the songs on the tape, it started out as a more electronic-driven home recording that I made on Ableton at my apartment in Brooklyn. And, again like most of the other tracks, it ended up featuring live-tracked drums, Roland Juno, loud guitar amps, and some other elements that were all recorded at Hum House in Upstate New York. It was never part of the original plan to highlight a mixture of lo-fi home recordings and more professional, studio-quality recordings ‘on purpose’ or anything with this EP, but I’m really happy with the aesthetic that ended up coming across from that mixture.

In terms of lyrics and themes, it touches on a few experiences I’ve had on and around New Years’ Eve over the years.”

5. Mother Cell (NYC) – “root canal x to be held by you (mother cell mix)”

“Life is a highway, and we’re all gay, so who’s driving the car?”

6. Whyouarei (Detroit) – “Juicy”

“Named after MattJuicy’ Airjob, a dope skateboarder and even more talented producer and artist. The background harmonic sample comes from some chopped SP404 material of his. Maybe one day we can all draw at Donovan’s again.”

7. permutant (Hamtramck) – “lachsore”

“‘lachsore’ was improvised on the shores of Lake Huron. This track is less maximalist, but no less active than our other recordings. It’s got a backbone of acoustic guitar and environmental percussion alongside the natural sounds of the lake.”

8. vanitas (Oberlin) – “sanctuary”

Vanitas was a black metal band from Ohio. RIP. Fuck Fascists!”

9. Buzz Lightyear – “Hive Mind”

“Just as Sycomacophila carolae seeks its ancestral structure within the galls of its receptive Sycomorus with an innate net of geomorphologies and exegeses, so too does the nectar of Buzz Lightyear cunningly and infinitely harbour itself within the eustachian tubes of its wholly witting victims to be transpired and transmitted beyond the topologies of generations. Yet unlike the Romantic carolae, Buzz does not engage in autocidal behaviors, nor does it bequeath any of that which was held in the cotyledon to its own ancestors; rather, you will simply join us. join the hive.”

10. Adynaton (Detroit) – “coming this november”

“This track seeks to observe the nature of anticipation, how it begins, and how it unfolds, through a chiasm of arpeggios and buoyant synth layers.”

11. Stephen Alexander (NYC) – “Caught in the Pages”

“‘Caught in the Pages’ is a song revisioning the way we engage with our stories, and the ways we can’t see people cheer us on. Through obscured voice, disintegrating keys, homeostatic drums, a crowd’s screams, and a repurposed seagull, ‘Caught in the Pages’ asks the question, ‘why do you have to feel this way?,’ and answers ‘you don’t.’”

12. Sleepwell (NYC) – “fell sound”

“Outs’ ollages together midi guitar and synth improvisations, drum machines, and homemade field recordings. The material was recorded while quarantined in Upstate New York, and reflects the deep listening that happens while in isolation in the woods.”

13. Whyouarei (Detroit) – “lifeboat (drums)”

“This dark track title comes from the 1944 Hitchcock film of the same name; where a diverse group of shipwrecked people attempt to survive in a small lifeboat together. It’s a similar vibe to (Jean-Paul) Sartre’s No Exit, made during an early quarantine time when I was crushing Hitchcock’s films.”

14. Awksymoron (NYC) – “talking in the dark”

“‘Talking in the Dark’ is from a period in my songwriting when I was writing to process my emotions. I remember when I finished writing the song I felt immense relief because I was able to extract what felt like nebulous sadness from inside me and condense it into a short and approachable folk song.”

15. permutant (Hamtramck) – “ressentiment”

“‘ressentiment’ echoes a phrase from earlier in I AM THAT I AM, permutant’s debut album. In between bursts of ferocity, the track finds itself in a comfortable state of inertia, rolling back and forth with ambient and math rock sensibilities alike.”

16. Buzz Lightyear – “color of manna”

“And as each is distinguishable from itself alone, so is each other indeterminate and capricious. Only with the correct tribute can access be granted to the eternal Light of Buzz Year. An ouroboros of nature and delusion, but can be thaumaturgically conducted as if it were unliving matter; matter is only unliving if perceived as such. Correct vocal delivery is essential.”

17. Sleepwell (NYC) – “youtube “poem”

“This song stitches together sounds and tones found by searching the word ‘poem’ on YouTube, with Sleepwell’s synth improvisations layered on top.”

18. Adynaton (Detroit) – “how to get around”

“Field recordings of an object tangled in bicycle spokes misrepresent one another and engage in dialogue accordingly.”

19. Ratsweat (NYC) – “The FishSlice Saga (w.n.r.t. Landlords)”

“This is a song about our landlord’s involvement with the Iranian government’s 2013 cyber attack on the Bowman Ave. Dam in the village of Rye Brook, New York.”

20. Call Me A Cab (Detroit) – “Buzzard Beater”

“How many times must a dead horse die? It cries, just in time, just in time, save the rinds.”