Infinity Shred

As life and culture move faster than ever, the most rebellious thing to do might be to invite audience attention or concentration for longer than the lifespan of a Tweet or an Instagram story…

Through sheer rejection of such notions, Infinity Shred indisputably deserve attention. Three lifelong musicians and kindred spirits—Clara Warnaar, Damon Hardjowirogo, and Nathan Ritholz—architect high-concept instrumental bliss from dystopic guitars, cinematic synths, live symphony, and glitch-y transmissions.

This hybrid remains as iconoclastic and inimitable as it does irresistible on their 2019 album, Forever, A Fast Life.

“We always hear the world has a hard time paying attention to longform content,” says Clara. “However, there’s still room for something amazing to happen in that medium. We put a lot of work into our album as a whole experience. We want you to feel like it’s worth it to take the journey with us.”

Since becoming sentient in 2012, the group has cemented itself as a curious critically acclaimed outlier with myriad plaudits. The 2013 full-length debut, Sanctuary, garnered acclaim from The Verge who described the Ray Bradbury-inspired music video for “Mapper” as “retro-futuristic without being kitschy, desolate without being grim, and held together by Infinity Shred’s song of the same name.” Meanwhile, Gear Gods dubbed the follow-up Long Distance, “fantastic,” as album opener “Choir VI” put up impressive numbers in excess of 2.1 million Spotify streams. Along the way, they canvased the country alongside everyone from Periphery to Astronoid and unveiled a 2017 remix package entitled Even Further.

Throughout 2018, they fashioned Forever, A Fast Life and once again charted new territory.

“We wanted it to be recognizable as an Infinity Shred record, but not like anything we’ve done previously,” says Damon. “This is the first time where everybody in the band contributed to a large amount of the actual songwriting process. It was exciting to see the difference in material it sparked.”

As Clara recently joined the group for Long Distance, she became an integral cornerstone of the creativity behind these ten tracks. Drawing on her classical background and place in the New York city scene, she assembled a small orchestra to accompany the three-piece, performing on the opener “Brutal Luxury,” interlude “Harsh Language,” the denouement of the title track, and eight-minute odyssey “What’s Worth Hiding?”

As a result, the sonics richly temper live synth and majestic orchestration.

“I was getting used to the band on the last record,” she goes on. “It was a light introduction. Forever, A Fast Life is my first chance to really get involved. My background is classical, so I invited the orchestra and really worked together with the guys on arrangement. Nate and Damon were so open to this. It brought the music to life and added a different layer.”

The first single “Long May You Run” pairs lush synth swells and a driving beat with a robotic guitar echo. As the energy ramps up, the song threads together lyrical lead lines and a distorted torrent.

“On my birthday last year, my dad wrote on Facebook, ‘Happy Birthday Damon, Long May You Run,’ and it’s something he had never said to me before in my life,” laughs Damon. “I don’t know where the phrase came from, but we got attached to it. It’s the most energetic and lighthearted song. On the album, you start in a place of naïveté and end up going somewhere darker. We like the contrast of different songs against each other.”

Clara performs marimba between the stark spaces of “And Then Again Gathered,” while the eight-minute “Cranemaker” morphs from Tron-style keyboards into a hazy post-rock crescendo. The musical moods stand rooted in reality.
“It’s not a concept album, but there is an emotional arc and a story,” Nate adds. “It takes you through dealing with something difficult. You get knocked off the pedestal and decline into a state of frustration and darkness. Then, you come out with some kind of hope. It may not be happy at the end, but there is a little bit of confidence.”
In the end, Infinity Shred earn your attention by a collective commitment to delivering deeper art.

“I’d love to encourage people to open up,” Damon leaves off. “Forever, A Fast Life tells our story. We were more emotionally honest with ourselves. Maybe it could even inspire others to feel the same way.”