Choker’s music isn’t easy to label, and that’s because it’s not meant to be. The Michigan-native’s latest two releases, Mono No Moto and Dog Candy are the first two EP instalments of his tryptic 2019 project, The Filling Space Series, and they are the peak of creativity for musical outliers globally.
While Mono No Moto evokes dream-like serenity, it’s by no means easy to digest. Focusing too much on the euphoric sound waves of songs like “Lily” might distract you from Choker’s polished songwriting skills or his ability to pivot between falsetto and grimy raps. Mono No Moto is a record that must be listened to carefully in its entirety to gain a true appreciation for the multilayered artwork Choker has self-produced in the most compelling DIY fashion.
Mono No Moto’s title track, “Petrol Bliss”, is full of curious atmospherics and smooth vocals mingled with rough textures. His eccentricity is captured perfectly in the moody visuals for the track. "Petrol Bliss" is the 23-year-old's motto in life as a creator, which he emphasizes throughout the song: “Never leave home empty-handed. Never take your victories for granted. When everything went just the way you planned it. This a lifestyle, not a habit.”
Mono No Moto melts into the mesmerizing “Gradient”, which reiterates Choker’s dedication to do music his way. The overcast mood of the song’s spacy synths is sharply contrasted with the sudden cue of a hypnotic go-go beat, which instinctively gets listeners from enjoying the song with a casual head-bop to a full-on groove. Choker is an all-encompassing artist who doesn’t let anything confine his taste for sonic adventures. If he doesn’t feel like adding a hook, he won’t. If he feels like switching up a beat, he will. And you won’t expect it.
Choker describes Mono No Moto as a means for understanding the mortal limits of human beings and details the EP’s philosophical roots, saying: “I was heavily influenced by "mono no aware" as an idea throughout my writing & looking at the concept from the angle of life as physicality, or life as motion, as well as this motion’s ephemerality: hence, mono no moto.” He explains, “I’m attempting to come to terms with the knowledge that our human motion has a limit, that there is an end to this body & the mind it houses, an end to our moments.”
Part 2 of Choker’s impressive musical tapestry continues on the up-tempo Dog Candy. “Dualshock” sets the tone with its beautifully hectic twists and turns and subtle electronic elements. Choker’s pitch-shifted vocals are arcane, adding a trippy layer of distortion. On “Master P” Choker gives listeners a taste of his ability to mix R&B and hip hop with experimental soundscapes to create a soulfully unconventional cocktail construct. Meanwhile, the closing track “Kiko”, fuses electronic and organic matter to create a sonic escapade that is simultaneously trippy and earthly.
Choker describes the uncanny inspiration for Dog Candy, explaining: “Dog Candy stems from my thoughts that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I’m fascinated at how the human mind interprets beauty, and how one thing can be considered repulsive to one person, may be the candy that suits another.”
Mono No Moto and Dog Candy serve as the perfect inspiration for the creative who finds themselves stuck wondering “What’s next?”. The release of Mono No Moto and Dog Candy arrive alongside Choker’s North American tour announcement. His "Help Yourself Tour" begins in San Francisco in March and concludes in Chicago in April. Check out tour dates here.