Dystopian reflections by Loi Loi's Kristie DiLascio

Fire escape flights of fancy with Loi Loi’s Kristie DiLascio;  photographed by Jen Meller .

Fire escape flights of fancy with Loi Loi’s Kristie DiLascio; photographed by Jen Meller.

These days we, as a conscientious collective, kvetch constantly that we are either in some sort of sadistic simulation, in a sordid upside down alternate dimension or have just embarked upon a strange apocalyptic era that the woke-set saw coming for æons. For all of us that have been experiencing these observations/symptoms and more, D.C.'s own radical duo Loi Loi has provided a soundtrack that pairs today's toxic times and fractured states of a despair with a counterweight of constructive pro-activity with the aptly titled album Me: Dystopia.

Elaborating upon their synth pop obsessions, Loi Loi takes us deep into the subterranean bunkers of refuge, repulsion and recoiled sentiments on their most ambitious record to date. Me: Dystopia starts off with the darkly electro scanning "Don't Know" that sets the stage for a season of discontent. Kristie DiLascio and Johnny Fantastic conduct the key progressions toward Middle East mystiques and mystery on "Egipto", as "Company Girl" updates the patriarchal conceits and constructs of the Stones' "Factory Girl" with Kristie's message and model of femme empowerment that takes on and takes over the boardrooms and power chair roles. Bright beams of luster are cast in a cinematic glow on “Silverlight”, as “Kaligula” starts the rhythm roar progression that leads to the confrontational and saber-rattler “Do You Want to Start a War”, as the album coasts outward with the title track that concludes Loi Loi’s concept record—offering a slice of space lounge that is launched skyward in hopes of greater days. Dealing in current era apocalyptic canvas expanses [see S the Supplicant] with a global message of feminist empowerment expressed with innovative aesthetics [see also Globelamp, Lizzo, U.S. Girls, et al.] — Me: Dystopia is Kristie’s album that has been in the making for years that could not have arrived a moment sooner. The record reminds us that these dystopian notions are not just some misanthrope’s mythic fever dream reserved for literary fiction, but a real and present threat to humanity that must be combated with art, heart and a higher level of consciousness.

Krisitie provided some candid and exclusive anecdotes about the creation of the album Me: Dystopia:

I woke up one day, surrounded by the heavy chaos and sensory paradise of hot street traffic; chunky platform boots pushing pavement, gorgeous black eyeliner-baked eyes, coffee steam and breakfast wrappers ribboning the air, necks craned attentively to first sound bite morning ‘grams, children in loose backpacks shuffling sideways through the waking hours.  I was there too; alone, frozen, unable to piece together even the most minimal of participation. I had forgotten even how I came to be on this sidewalk square; forgotten the feel of autopilot vibrations pulsing me uptown, downtown, street to subway to office to venue to studio to bar to club to bedroom…unscripted, I used to move alongside the platforms and breakfast sandwiches and kiddos and ‘grammaking and smells, too.  I smiled without knowing it.

When I found myself there — inert amongst passersby engaged in unquestioning motion and purpose — I summoned my first response; opt out. Because I knew I could only travel in this upstream flow if I was already absorbed in its unthinking, physical, endorphin state. Thinking about it just slows you down; you just move, you do the things that will bring you closer to ecstatic pleasure and then you seal yourself in a pod to rest. You move, you hibernate, you move, you hibernate. This was so second nature to me, to be a participant, so why was I here, stuck inside my own neuroses? I desperately wanted to cry uncle, to call game over. But I couldn’t.

I suffered a tragic loss in 2016; the world around me was turning tragic in 2017. Well-meaning, kind-hearted people offered solutions that only brought me back to the source of my inertia. The culture wars and infighting and injustice, juxtaposed with the care and community I saw others give birth to among all of this neon pain spoke loudly to me — and invited me to sit quietly, to observe and understand it. I sat upright and folded my legs. I watched, I felt, I empathized. I took pity on myself for the first time, I let my senses and desires take over without fearing consequences. I stopped depriving my eyes and ears of the ‘sound-on’ version of the world around me. I began to write into existence the chambers of Me: Dystopia — my path onward from depression. This golden hive and all of its now-jeweled chambers is always within visual distance and reminds me of the possibility of rehabilitation and soul restoration and that there is awesome, illuminating power in survival.

Loi Loi’s Me: Dystopia will be available Friday February 15.