My Favorite Album: Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead on Unwound’s "The Future of What" | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, February 25th, 2024  

My Favorite Album: Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead on Unwound’s “The Future of What”

“It truly has everything that I need from music.”

Jul 23, 2020 Photography by Drew Brown Issue #66 - My Favorite Album - Angel Olsen and Sleater-Kinney
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I am happy to have the opportunity to say it aloud as I think to myself often as such in my mind. It is The Future of What by Unwound. It is hard to describe how—but I get so excited just thinking about this album. Unwound for me is conceptually, intellectually, instinctively, musically, and emotionally the most complete band/music and is absolutely timeless. When I listen to each member separately it astonishes me how gifted and original they are on their own but they don’t seem to give a flying fuck about that nor about one another—playing totally in the zone of themselves kind of in a parallel way but altogether they create the tension and weave of music that to me is so advanced that I used to wish, and I still do, if I could only play this music to Bach or Mozart or any classical greats I think they would totally get it.

I first came to know them through Fugazi when we started to become friendly and earned the opening spot of their tour of a three bands bill. We were the first of three, followed by Unwound and Fugazi. I still remember when I realized how insane this music was and it took me a few shows because they played so carelessly without obvious excitement. Fugazi and all the youth stared at them so hard, felt like no one was even blinking, and I felt so special that I understood this music.

Each of them played somewhat abstract parts and lines but the melodies and Justin [Trosper]’s screams were so beautiful and I was mind blown by his lyrics—deep, honest, intelligent, and his empathy for others really struck me. The Future of What—its title and album cover too are to me already genius beyond a genre. It truly has everything that I need from music. The production of this record—produced by Steve Fisk—should also be noted. It contains a variety of sounds by key and synth that are so musical, but what moves me the most is the energy that he captured—it is not tamed or contained. I don’t know how he managed that—each of them sounds so great, one can hear them so clearly without being transparent and the vocals are mixed so low yet they scream. I stop now but I hope you get me just how much I love this record. If you identity at all with my music and have not heard them yet, you must.

(Kazu Makino is the singer/keyboardist/guitarist for Blonde Redhead, who formed in New York in 1993, also feature twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace, and have released nine full-length albums, the most recent being 2014’s Barragán. This year sees the release of Adult Baby, Makino’s debut solo album simply under the name KAZU and put out on her own label, also named Adult Baby.)

[Note: This article originally appeared in Issue 66 of Under the Radar’s print magazine, which is out now. This is its debut online. For the issue we interviewed musicians and actors about their all-time favorite album.]

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