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The Crystal Method
For more than two decades, The Crystal Method has remained at the forefront of the
worldwide dance music industry as pioneers of the big beat genre, innovators of the
‘90s electronica movement and current-day global ambassadors of the American
electronic sound. Originally formed as a duo—alongside founding member Ken Jordan,
who retired from the music business in 2016—The Crystal Method today lives and
breathes as a solo act, with co-founder Scott Kirkland at the helm. And with the artistic
reboot comes the next chapter in The Crystal Method timeline: The Trip Home, out
September 28 on the band’s own Tiny E Records.
As the sixth full-length The Crystal Method album and Kirkland’s first as a newfound
solo act, The Trip Home serves as the creative rebirth of the brand. An artistic manifesto
and love letter to the electronic world, The Trip Home welcomes Kirkland at the driver’s
seat with full control of the reins.
For the new album, which he co-produced with Glen Nicholls, Kirkland dove deep into
the decades-spanning discography of The Crystal Method. The result is a sound that
revisits the roots of the classic Crystal Method aesthetic, while pushing its possibilities
into the future. Equal parts throwback and dynamic futurism, The Trip Home expands
Kirkland’s unrestrained curiosity into new realms and new sounds.
To perfect this fine balance, Kirkland took a back-to-basics approach, which saw him
firing up his arsenal of analog synths and reconnecting with his collection of vintage
gear. The lead single “Holy Arp” captures this calculated formula perfectly: A brooding
intro of darkly tinged bleeps and bloops slowly builds the song’s tension before it pours
into a bed of chunky synths, distorted reverb and alien sounds.
It was “Holy Arp” that gave Kirkland the first flashes of the cohesive sound that would
shape The Trip Home.
“As soon as I got that track going, I knew I had found the direction for the new album,”
Kirkland says. “It reverberates with the sound of Crystal Method classics like ‘Name of
the Game’ and has some of the gnarliness of ‘Vapor Trail.’ It’s an angry, ballsy,
bombastic trip down the inner workings of the vintage ARP 2600 synth.”
Elsewhere, the emotional ballad “Ghost in the City”—co-produced with electronic
artist/producer Le Castle Vania—is a narrative-driven electronic dream that floats
through dark clouds and shredding guitars, while singer-songwriter Amy Kirkpatrick
delivers an angelic and touching vocal performance. “
“There’s a Difference,” a reimagining of the track “Difference” off The Crystal Method’s
2014 self-titled album, is a full-on alt rock hybrid that mixes melodic electronics, pulsing
bass, punching live drums and riveting vocals from singer Franky Perez.