“The high cube drifter watches from a cliff overlooking the remains of a broken world. The high cube drifter commands nothing but the clothes on their back and a handful of dust. The high cube drifter remembers a time when everything was permissible but nothing was free. The high cube drifter lives in a world where nothing is available and the only freedom is far away. The high cube drifter sifts through the artifacts and debris of a world they realized was their domain but only when it was too late. The high cube drifter wakes up to oily, smokey sunrises and goes to sleep after lurid, vibrant sunsets. The high cube drifter wonders what this world is coming to day after day, collapse after collapse.” - CRT

“High Cube Drifter” (M-TRONIC) is the album Cathode Ray Tube aka CRT aka Charles Terhune almost didn’t get to make. “I was nearly killed in a car accident in the summer of 2018,” says CRT. “They hit me on the driver’s side which spun us out then rolled the car three times. When it stopped, and I knew my daughter (and my dog) were safe, I realized it wasn‘t my life that had flashed before my eyes. Instead, I saw images of everything I’ve yet to accomplish. One of these was making more music that comes closer to what I hear in my mind. I walked away from the accident but the lessons I learned from it stay with me. I’m lucky to be alive and even luckier to be able to continue to do the things I love, one of which is make music.”

“High Cube Drifter,” CRT’s first album of 2019, is the story of survival in a post-collapse world where technology exists in fits and starts while humanity struggles to not just move on but to get by and survive. “Every age has proclaimed apocalypse was on their doorstep, arriving tomorrow and delivered for free,” says Charles Terhune aka Cathode Ray Tube aka CRT. “And every age of humanity has felt it was imminent. With weapons of mass destruction at their most powerful and so-called leaders of the free world at their most unhinged, however, this truly feels more imminent than ever. I want to be hopeful but a certain 45th president of the world sets my teeth on edge whenever he speaks and makes my heart stop when I think he’s got the big red nuclear button inches away from his tiny, Diet Coke shriveled, syphilitic finger at all times.”

Despite the dire tone expressed therein, CRT continues to progress and evolve in his music, making the most of whatever time he has left on this earth. The music on ‘High Cube Drifter’ varies between dark, somber dirges which morph into uplifting semi-rave anthems to glitch-battered, FM-synthesized synth nerd jams that transform into sonic elegies to a higher power. “Good Morning” lopes into being, opening the album with swirling synth pads before taking the listener into a deep dark hole of repetitive beats and ever-morphing bass. “Flying Zero” is a narcotic, futuristic dub adventure, the score to the Wintermute heist scene in the imaginary “Neuromancer” movie were it composed by Sly & Robbie working with Autechre. “Kicking Sides” is yet another dub-drenched exploration of the furthest reaches of sound, perhaps unconsciously nodding at CRT’s alter-ego The Dubtologist wherein he takes a stricter approach to dub influenced electronics. “AOC” is both a paean to CRT’s younger days dabbling in the 90‘s rave scene of New York city and a nod to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the NYC Congresswoman wreaking havoc on the patriarchy. “Spite House” is an arpeggiated masterpiece of deft electronics and melody with beats driving the point home.

“There‘s fear in the world and obviously I’ve got the fear, too,” says CRT in a humorous nod to his heroes Meat Beat Manifesto. “But I‘ve got hope, too. Despite it all, be it the accident or the dingle-cheetoe in the White House, I still have hope. I’m just grateful I can make music as often as I can. Without it there’d be no hope. And without hope there is no art, no civilization, no humanity nor any chance of evolution.”

HIGH CUBE DRIFTER is out now on M-Tronic Records.

Charles Terhune

I don't know I just work here.