Music News

Tres Quatro

In the vein of the influential Switched On series pioneered by Wendy Carlos, Mike Buckley of Nightshark recorded this timely album. Much as Carlos famously did with Bach, using only a Micromoog and a vocoder, Buckley performs synthesizer interpretations of classic Christmas songs that almost have to be heard to be believed. "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "12 Days of Christmas" sound like what the Residents might have done if those weirdos had decided to do a holiday album...bleaty, distorted, alien vocals included. But it's on the last two tracks — the humorously renamed "White Noise Christmas" and "Slay Ride" — that Buckley pushes the interpretation envelope the furthest. Most Christmas albums should never be listened to outside of the holiday season, but this one is so delightfully bizarre and original, it practically demands it.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.