Raphael Peterson, known by his pseudonym Shape King is someone who has such an innate intelligence to the point where it’s hard to explain. His musical history could resemble the perfect resume for nearly anyone to showcase. His history involves dropping out of the Massachusets Institute of Technology to pursue his entrepreneurial ventures of constructing his own guitars and demonstrate them in live showcases.
After his phase in the real world, he went back to college and completed a degree in Music at Columbia University. Peterson took all the knowledge he contracted through academia and previous business ventures and enmeshed them to devise unique instruments and recording auto devices to the point of invention.
Peterson has been showcasing his mind-whirling creations through the medium of sound. He makes music not for the idleness of the heart but for the challenge of the mind. Of course, he takes his work light-heatedly. His previous works include the use of these odd instrumental entanglements, resulting in abstract noises that have been slightly or nearly never approached in the past. His last full-lengthed feature, DADO v. The Universe was an interesting spectrum of these noises. Much of the songs were a conclave of these instrumental mash-ups that manage to follow the right polyphony. Some of these songs ended up as dance-like tunes, as others can be enchanting and even mystical.
“dumbingitdown” is his latest single that supports his ongoing journey to baffle the listener. This experimental single is a quirky, minute-and-a-half-long track involving the bare minimum of instrumentation. From my understanding, there are no more than at least three sound bits that repeat in a loop, disregarding Peterson’s vocals.
In the single, there is a thudding drum line that just follows along Peterson’s vocals for the first twenty seconds. His vocals involve him stating the obvious, telling the listener that he’s “dumbing down,” and “making it easy.” Around twenty seconds in, there’s a random, airy sound clip that gradually amplifies in volume, only to get interrupted by the vocals and the same repeating drum line.
With a title like “dumbingitdown,” I wouldn’t expect very much from the single. It’s as simple as Peterson states it as. He may have created this track as a test rat or just another way of figuring out what sound clips and bare instruments seem to harmonize well. This would seem to be an expected approach to an engineer to take interest in.
It also could be a teaser for an upcoming project that may utilize the basic structure shown in the single. Whatever the case may be, Peterson has understandably the strategic talent and creativity to construct almost anything he pleases. This isn’t the most riveting single I’ve heard, but then again, it wasn’t supposed to be.
Find more from the Shape King HERE.