Fire-Toolz I am upset because I see something that is not there.
Producer / composer / multi-instrumentalist Angel Marcloid records music under the moniker Fire-Toolz. Though Marcloid’s output emerges in a litany of distinct aliases and projects — from the jazz fusion / new age of Nonlocal Forecast to the vaporous nostalgia of MindSpring Memories — the Fire-Toolz catalog remains the central focus of the prolific artist’s musical universe and a home for Marcloid’s most ambitious and combinatory work. I am upset because I see something that is not there, the fifth Fire-Toolz album to join the Hausu Mountain catalog since 2017, offers listeners a prismatic cross-section of juxtaposed genres and compositional contortions to explore, maintaining Fire-Toolz’s signature density and complexity while tightening the scope of Marcloid’s experimentation into the project’s most focused song cycle to date. Perhaps more than any previous Fire-Toolz album, I am upset […] presents some form of pop music, carried in Marcloid’s passages of clean vocals, in the bright synth and keyboard tones that animate its tracks, in the yearning saxophone lines that pour into view and whisk the narrative onto a new path. The format of a one-person “band” carries a different weight in a landscape of solo artists crafting abstract modernist productions that don’t allude in the slightest to various twentieth-century rock-related traditions. Fire-Toolz exists on both sides of this divide. The music of Fire-Toolz draws energy on a moment-to-moment basis from the constant fluctuation between seemingly disparate styles, yet Marcloid pulls off the impossible feat again and again of making chaotic deviations and improbable jump-cuts between ideas sound holistic, as if such compositional gambits were already logical to begin with. Bursts of harsh textural noise cut into drifts of new age synth bliss, while miniature screamo verses bookend passages of hyper-technical jazz fusion.