Avant instrumentalist Billy Mays III is the son of TV personality Billy Mays, but has taken a decidedly different life path than his father. There’s no impassioned sales pitch to be made for the kind of subdued, nuanced electro rock he creates under the banner of Infinite Third, but like his dad, Billy cuts a distinctive figure in the world of electronica.
Much of his new album Channel(s) is built upon improvised journeys through undefined scales, imbued with endless layers of ethereal guitar, primal beats, and pulsing drones. These are tracks that Mays frequently incorporates into his exploratory, live-looping performances which reflect the expansive duality of his ambiac style. His material maintains a cosmically inspired subtext and the malleable quality of his work translates beautifully into fully fleshed out recordings.
The songs on Channel(s) appear to be living, breathing things, and are parceled into two seamless sides which make up the album. The first half of hardy Radiohead-esque alternative instrumentals eventually gives way to a more understated Side B, where Mays flexes his knack for distilling melody and ambiance into a cinematic, signature sound. What first might appear as arbitrary or overwhelming, soon becomes fascinating, begging for further examination as the understated layers make themselves known.
Mays has professed that his albums can be used as a gateway into more ‘experimental’ musings, and with Channel(s), this statement certainly rings true. It is an elegant meeting of disparate genres, remaining accessible through Infinite Thirds cohesive aesthetic which, while it may not be able to be described, can certainly be absorbed.