The album art for Casper McFadden’s Stasis (log). Credit: Courtesy the Artist

In a recent video interview with New York City arts and culture site Lumka, Chicago producer Casper McFadden explained that he made his new second album, Stasis (Log), while his landlord renovated his bedroom over the summer. The construction took longer than anticipated, and McFadden spent months stuck on his couch, unable to access the gear he’d left in his room or make music where he was used to doing it. The pandemic had already made him feel like he was trapped in limbo, and the renovations intensified that; fortunately, the music he made during that period never feels stuck in place. McFadden uses a hyperactive blend of intricate, superfast breakcore percussion, luxurious trance synths, and vocal samples to articulate his pent-up anxiety, and his approach somehow makes those sounds feel cathartic and joyful. On “Trippp” he sets a drum ’n’ bass loop racing atop a blissful acoustic guitar melody, then cranks up the tempo so that the song becomes positively triumphant—and it’s that kind of gesture that makes the stylistic wildness of this album feel less like chaos and more like freedom.   v