(Copyright © 2021 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Drip Mental (2017) , 5/10
Interbeing (2017) , 6.5/10
Skinless X-1 (2018) , 5/10
Field Whispers (2019) , 6/10
Rainbow Bridge (2020) , 5/10
Eternal Home (2021), 7/10

Baltimore native Angel Marcloid (formerly Justin Marc Lloyd) started out with a band, Sensible Nectar, documented on the double-disc Everything's Dancing For You (2009) and several cassettes of 2010, that ran the gamut from guitar-based droning music to power-electronics. At the same time she had a bedroom-pop project, The Human Excuse. Dim Dusk Moving Gloom released five albums in 2010 and then changed name to Pregnant Spore, which released millions of albums of electronic music between 2010 and 2012. At the same time she released albums of ambient music as Dementia And Hope Trails (three albums in 2010-12) and albums of power electronics as False Flag (several in 2010-13) and albums of sound collage as Inappropriate King Live (several in 2010-16). The Human Excuse returned with A Therapeutic Universe (2011) and Return To The Golden Fall (2014). She also released two albums of synth-pop as Power Windoze in 2013 and 2014. And she dabbled in sound collage as Path To Lobster Believers in 2013-15.

In 2014 she launched several more projects: Copkiller with Alien Soccer (2014); MindSpring Memories, which released dozens of vaporwave albums between 2014 and 2020; Justin Marc Lloyd, which released another million albums of noise between 2012 and 2014; DJ Eyebrow Ring, which released albums of plunderphonics in 2014-15; Marc Spore, documented on one album of 2014; and World Of White Ice, which released the synth-pop album Sodden Awakening (2014).

Copkiller changed name into Fire-toolz for Even the Files Won't Touch You (2015), an album later disowned.

Plunderphonics was a major passion, documented also on the albums credited to Apk in 2015-18, Website Tsu in 2015-17, Toad Computers in 2016-17, and Angelwings Marmalade, in 2017-19.

Fire-toolz became her major artistic vehicle with the two albums of 2017. Interbeing (2017) is an amateurish effort, but it clearly states the intentions. Window 2 Window blends sound collage, vaporwave, black-metal growl, minimalist repetition and a frantic dance beat. The nine-minute Dreamt Hex Code seamlessly wanders in industrial, techno, ambient, synth-pop and collage. Drip Mental (2017) is a more mature and elegant album, largely oppressed by a lugubrious spirit. The sound collage with screams Subconscious Pilsen Relics Pt 2, the gothic industrial dance All Deth Is U, and the frantic house dance To See My Hatred Clearly create an expressionist atmosphere, which is further amplified by the demonic shrieks that permeate The Graying of the Crocs. On the other hand, the seven-minute Busy Beaver Lunch Break is dadaistic musique concrete, and the other lengthy collage, At the Pig Well and At the Pig Well Pt 2, is the musical equivalent of a Dali' painting. A third line of attack emerges with the closer, the eight-minute ?, which turns out to be (surprisingly) the most regular song of her career yet, with a synth-pop beat and a romantic saxophone, melodic till the end, even when the black-metal growl takes over.

Meanwhile she also produced ambient music: No Don't (2018), credited to Softer Softest, and an album of 2018 whose title is written in several Indian languages.

Fire-toolz's next album, Skinless X-1 (2018), largely abandoned the vocals in favor of brief post-Brian Eno-esque instrumental vignettes that mix plunderphonics, musique concrete and vaporwave, notable for their tumbling crystalline electronic timbres (Fire-Toolz Theme, Second Life). It is impressive how smoothly Elysian Fields transitions from propulsive dance-rock to new-age music. Most of them are not cohesive and so they fail to leave a trace. A notable exception is the languid tropical Fortunate Isles. Her legendary vocals return in the brief Screamography (a hybrid of screamo, black metal and vaporwave) and in the industrial dance Lethe. The collage has become elegant and sophisticated, but it has lost some of its biting force. The album feels uneventful, despite the painstaking collage art.

The purpose-less aesthetic of vaporwave increasingly permeated Fire-toolz's albums. Field Whispers (2019) is formally impeccable but rarely emotional, despite a far greater focus on melody. The Warm-Body is an example of seamless integration of musique concrete and vaporwave that nonetheless feels irrelevant. In many cases the result is plain tedious. Her screams are reduced to occasional decoration, mostly for a few seconds only, and the album is mostly instrumental. There are masterful demonstrations of musique concrete, like in Fluids Come Together & The 'I Am' Appears (but that's only two minutes), and one composition where the various currents come together in a meaningul way: in the seven-minute Clear Light crickets and alien signals infiltrate the waves of reassuring music (whether dance beats or electronic muzak or saxophone melodies) and fuel bursts of indiscriminate noise. The best of the danceable pieces (and possibly the best of her career) is The Pain-Body, where cubism meets expressionism.

Her prog-jazz project Nonlocal Forecast debuted with Bubble Universe (2019) and Nonlocal Forecast - Holographic Universe (2020).

Fire-toolz's next album, Rainbow Bridge (2020), again mostly instrumental, was way less adventurous than the early ones, largely devoted to shaping pleasant background sounds. Angel of Deth and Ever-Widening Rings indulge in the worst kitsch excesses of new-age music of the 1980s. Blastbeats and screams animate Rainbow Bridge, and Prayer for the Abuser is the one song where vaporwave and black metal infect each other in harmony. However, the most creative moments are hidden inside and almost suffocate by the molasses: Dreamy #ex Code is a case of psychedelic-tinged musique concrete, and ER = EPR ~ EoE (EP delta P = ER) is the surrealistic dance jam du jour (admittedly another success).

Fire-toolz's 78-minute double-album Eternal Home (2021) is an impressive tour de force and compendium of her art.
Several compositions bring to fruition years of experiments in evolving the sound from one extreme to another: In the Pinewaves transitions from black-metal growl to gentle sax melody; clean vocals intone an exotic chant followed by a mellow sax tune in Shenpa Indicator Light but it all decays in chaotic noise; the atmospheric sparse soundscape of Softly Chewing Quiet Stars soars into a techno locomotive; Where on Earth Is My Sacchidananda? begins with anthemic guitar and black-metal growl (which could be the album's most melodic moment) but ends in cosmic drones; Window 2 Window 2 Window 2 Window 2 is new-age music for tabla and synth until it transforms into demonic shrieks and industrial rhythm; and the black-metal firestorm of To Make Whole Be Whole ends in an angelic droning calm. Unlike the discontinuities of the past, here we witness a form of coherent evolution, albeit unpredictable. Sometimes she indulges in overlapping opposites: Lellow Birbs mixes the most electrifying blastbeats and fairy-tale electronic drones.
A few songs are still in the older style of sudden discontinuities: Odd Cat Sanctuary is first a blend of black-metal growl, intricate drumming pattern and prog-rock keyboards and then, in the second half, a bombardment of blast-beats and distorted guitar; Yearning = Alchemical Fire is first a mix of minimalist organ repetition a` la Steve Reich and ebullient keyboard jamming a` la Yes and then an orgy of growls and beastly riffs.
There is also an attempt to destabilize dance-club music, especially in the thundering and syncopated Umbilical Cord Blood with a vibrant sax solo, in the distorted and bombastic drum'n'bass instrumental Advaita Shuffling and in Window 2 Window 2 Window 2 Window 2 Window, a chaotic and fractured videogame-like dance ditty that slowly mutates and disintegrates.
Her sound collages are more restrained, but still surrealistic: Progressive Path, This Particular Universe Is Friendly ;) and Outside =^..^= Bears are as abstract as it gets, while the sound effects of (E)y(e)s w/o a %Brain% evoke an aquatic monster and turn into ambient drones.
Finally, there are surprisingly regular songs performed in clean vocals: To Make Home Be Home and the shoegazing ballad Thick_Flowy_Glowy_Sparkly_Stingy_Pain.mpeg.
If none of the compositions stands out, the whole is a testament to Marcloid's unbridled creativity.

Fire-toolz also released the ten-song EP I Can't Die (2021).

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