Aptly Named CON FUSION is a Wonderfully Idiosyncratic 10 Song Collection

It’s extremely rare I find an artist as wonderfully weird as Gem FM. With a sound that feels equally comparable to Daft Punk as to Devo, equally inspired by prog rock as by video games, and equally appealing to fans of bluegrass as fans of EDM, Gem FM is about as diverse in influence and output as any artist you’ll find. While a Styxx fan may find themselves drawn heavily to album opener, “Epiphanous Dream”, the very next track feels like something David Byrne and Mark Mothersbaugh may have have recorded together. It’s with that, I present to you the most singular and unique album of the year so far – and a label I doubt it loses by year’s end – Con Fusion.

In the Gem FM bio, musical mad scientist James Freeman describes the act as “a flexible musical entity that may incorporate solo and/or collaborative expression at any particular time” with a goal of “freedom of artistic expression that modern technology now enables more than ever before”. Freeman is just the right type of weirdo to make this all work, too. Diverse sounds and influences is clearly the name of the game here, as Gem FM floats in an out of a plethora of genres in the 10 tracks on Con Fusion. And, while I’d simply label the genre as “electronic” is I were forced to pick just one, it’s an absurd idea to try to describe this album with any standard genre label. With a variety of instruments – both real and created by computer – armed by his side, Freeman is clearly here to laugh in the face of genre conformity.

With a veritable variety hour of fantastically written, extremely fun, and sometimes quite weird music, Con Fusion dropped this week on streaming platforms and can be listened to below. While this fellow weirdo’s favorite tracks are “Hit the Door” (the aforementioned second track on the album that plays like a David Byrne collab) and “Bake the Cake” (an avant-garde art-jazz inspired tune of sorts), you may cling to something a bit different and still be equally satisfied. Listen below or directly on Spotify.

Justin has been running websites since his first Geocities site in 1994, but only did he ever start covering anything of substance years later. After he stopped regularly running local concerts in Northern NJ and the greater Philly area, he knew he needed to step up his writing game if he expected to continue to get free music to listen to. He writes regularly here and at Cinapse, as well as contributing to a few other sites on occasion. He likes music, film, the Philadelphia Eagles, the 76ers, talking about Criminal Justice, reading Intelligence Report, and his family... not in that order. His beautiful wife is far more talented than he is and his kids far more adorable... and crazy.
thepaintedman on Emailthepaintedman on Facebookthepaintedman on Instagramthepaintedman on Twitterthepaintedman on Wordpress

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *