Art Feynman (aka accomplished recording artist and producer Luke Temple) stitches art-pop, Nigerian highlife, worldbeat, and other lesser-known genres into a musical quilt that displays his unmistakable guile and eccentric songcraft. On his sophomore album Half Price at 3:30 (out now on Western Vinyl) he delivers songs that side-smile while pointing out the emotional sinkholes that whirl beneath the most overlooked, seemingly commonplace scenarios. As effortlessly as he inhabits his Art Feynman character he also slips into the lives of other personalities, both living and fictional. Where previous entries in the Luke Temple discography — including his well-liked former group Here We Go Magic — have utilized organic timbres even while sailing far from the guitar-and-drums shore, Half Price sees him employing drum machines, slightly glossier production, and even autotune with a tasteful balance that suggests these tools have been in his kit all along. The result affectionately evokes guerrilla recording predecessors like Francis Bebey, Arthur Russell, and Haruomi Hosono in musicological detail, yet it’s Temple’s hard-won creative voice that resounds over top of it all facing Half Price forward instead of nostalgically backward.
(Photo Credit: Aubrey Trinnaman)