Dykeritz's Jordan Blum thinks this isn't a big deal but I do: He's written over 25 albums. Still, perched in his small apartment, Blum tries to downplay this substantial achievement. "A lot of it is total bullshit," he says, "by somebody who was somebody else back then."
In my hands I have the first album, a cassette with a simple cover likely printed on a dot-matrix printer. It's from 1995, when Blum was about 13. Even then it was called Dykeritz. He produced a number of these tapes, as he has with all of his albums, each complete with artwork. Blum continues his dismissal. "It's the worst music—not even cool in a bad way," he says. "I'm glad I developed and got all the garbage out of the way." I get the feeling Blum is relieved there's no tape player in the room so I can't ask to hear it.
But regardless of quality, Blum's prolific output is inspiring, in and of itself. Around 2000, he says, the work turned into something he can be proud of. This week sees the release of Dykeritz's most realized, coherent, interesting work to date, the bright and sprawling pop cherry bomb, rearrangerologystics.
On one hand, it's a gigantic thing—massive, arching ADD-riddled compositions. During production, hunkered down in his boxy apartment studio, Blum added so many layers (averaging, he estimates, some 60 tracks per song) he couldn't listen to the compositions in all their grandiosity without freezing the computer. But while the sounds of rearrangerologystics sprawl like shimmering cornfields in Big Sky country, the compositions—and the album as a whole—are tightly tethered.
Blum restricted rearrangerologystics to only nine tracks and there isn't a weak one in the bunch. The style is consistent, and quite simply pretty, peaceful, and effervescent, like champagne in the afternoon. Live, Blum has assembled a seven-piece band which he hopes will lead to more interesting live performances than the static, laptop-based presentation he has used in the past.
And yet, having produced so many records, Blum has never toured—something he hopes to do but says he doesn't know how to arrange. For better or worse, he's waiting for an invitation, something rearrangerologystics should help with. But regardless of what happens with fame or recognition or the road, Blum will stay content, simply doing what he's always done: making albums.