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Born of the pandemic shutdown and mobilized by the world’s societal ills, Plutocracy Planet is an experimental sociopolitical super-collective led by former Alarm Magazine editor and musical vagrant Scott Morrow

Fusing post-hardcore sensibilities with electronics, polyrhythms, atypical time signatures, and a far-reaching instrumental palette—including strings, saxophone, piano, harp, marimba, acoustic guitar, and more—the ambitious collaborative project utilizes the talents of more than two dozen venerable vocalists and instrumentalists across hardcore, hip hop, emo, avant-garde composition, pop, and more.

Greed, inequality, and the endless influence of money in politics serve as the project’s thematic focal points. But between a broad-minded approach and a coalition of lyrical voices, the collective’s forthcoming debut LP also touches on the cult of personality, fear-mongering media, police brutality, toxic masculinity, religious zealotry, factory farming, the billionaire space race, discourse in the internet era, and more.

Following the project’s first three singles—“This Very Severity,” featuring emo legend Bob Nanna (Braid, Hey Mercedes); “But You Said,” featuring singer-songwriter Jonah Matranga (Far, Gratitude, onelinedrawing); and “A Simple Refrain,” featuring Matt Pryor (The Get-Up Kids) and Swamburger (Solillaquists of Sound)— has premiered the music video for “Commence Mutation,” an absolutely stacked collaboration and commentary on the future of humanity.

Featuring vocalist Carson Pace of The Callous Daoboys, "Commence Mutation" is a progressive, sax- and violin-infused electro-metal rumination on The Singularity and post-human existence, featuring an all-star cast of instrumental players: Liam Wilson (The Dillinger Escape Plan, Azusa), Jonathan Hischke (The Sound of Animals Fighting, Cigar), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Masonic Wave), Jason Schimmel (Estradasphere, Secret Chiefs 3, Red Fiction), and Anton Patzner (Emily Jane White, Judgement Day).

It’s easy to get caught up in alarmism about artificial intelligence—we’ve all been raised on countless sci-fi movies and novels about humanity’s demise at the hands of its own tools,” Morrow says. “But it seems that more and more experts believe that some sort of technological singularity, whether an artificial superintelligence or human intelligence amplification from nanotechnologies, is not a matter of if but when. 

Personally, I find it fascinating to think about AI and AGI (advanced general intelligence) in the context of the universe and other advanced alien civilizations. Is AI a ‘Great Filter’ that nothing can survive? Is it why we haven’t made contact with anything else out there? Or is it possible not only to survive the development of AGI but actually thrive and become ‘post-human’? I tend to think that we’ll accidentally wipe ourselves out, but you never know!

Releasing July 12 on vinyl and digital, Plutocracy Planet’s full-length debut, produced by singer-songwriter Mark Rose of Spitalfield, will feature:

Bob Nanna (Braid, Hey Mercedes, Lifted Bells)

Jonah Matranga (Far, Gratitude, onelinedrawing)

Matt Pryor (The Get-Up Kids, The New Amsterdams, Radar State)

Mike Kinsella (American Football, Owen, Lies, Cap’n Jazz)

Liam Wilson (The Dillinger Escape Plan, Azusa)

Rody Walker (Protest the Hero)

Carson Pace (The Callous Daoboys)

Emily Jane White

Mark Rose (Spitalfield)

Swamburger (Solillaquists of Sound)

Blueprint (Soul Position, Greenhouse)

Jørgen Munkeby (Shining)

Carla Kihlstedt (Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Tin Hat Trio, Rabbit Rabbit Radio)

Nils Frykdahl (Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Faun Fables, Idiot Flesh)

Aaron Spectre (Drumcorps)

Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Masonic Wave)

Angela Mullenhour (Sybris, Touched by Ghoul, Pink Frost)

Anton Patzner (Emily Jane White, Foxtails Brigade, Judgement Day)

Jonathan Hischke (The Sound of Animals Fighting, Le Butcherettes, Hella, Anywhere)

Jason Schimmel (Secret Chiefs 3, Estradasphere, Red Fiction)

Adam Stacey (Igorrr, Secret Chiefs 3, Estradasphere)

Jason Zdora (HeWhoCorrupts)

Leyla I. Royale (Chicago Street Strings)

Plutocracy Planet Tracklisting: 

1. Prologue

2. This Very Severity (f. Bob Nanna)

3. But You Said (f. onelinedrawing)

4. A Simple Refrain (f. Matt Pryor & Swamburger)

5. Commence Mutation (f. Carson Pace)

6. Slaughterhouse Soliloquy (f. Swamburger & Drumcorps)

7. War? (f. Rody Walker)

8. True Crime (f. Angela Mullenhour)

9. Hours and Hours (Work Harder, Not Smarter) (f. Mark Rose)

10. Dance of the Downtrodden (f. Carla Kihlstedt, Nils Frykdahl & Jørgen Munkeby)

11. Remain Silent (f. Emily Jane White, Blueprint & Bruce Lamont)

12. Epilogue

About Plutocracy Planet

Long an appreciator of stylistic diversity, Scott Morrow spent his years at Alarm Magazine championing fiercely creative and risk-taking independent artists of all stripes. When covid-19 shut down the planet, he found himself, like many others, wondering how to get the most out of “The Big Pause.” Rather than use his free time writing about other musicians, he opted to write music of his own—something he hadn’t done in over a decade. Between having many talented musician friends and connections from years of covering music, Morrow quickly amassed a small army of all-star contributors, patching together a network of like-minded experimentalists who resonated with the project’s theme.

But the shutdown wasn’t all productive for Morrow—far from it. In June of 2021, he was hit in the back by a stray bullet in his hometown of Chicago as he walked to meet a friend. Losing multiple organs during an emergency surgery, Morrow nearly died in the immediate aftermath as well as during the subsequent healing process due to an abscess of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The grueling eight-month recovery was yet another “big pause” in his life, but once he resumed life “as usual,” he was even more resolved to finish his project’s debut full-length album.

The hell that I went through I wouldn’t wish on anyone,” Morrow says. “But I’m unbelievably lucky and grateful to be here today. I could not have had a better and more wonderful support system, and enduring something like that makes you realize how very loved and fortunate you are. Plus, I couldn’t just go dying after all of these gracious, wonderfully talented folks contributed to this unknown pipe-dream project.

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