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San Antonio Music Awards Critic's Pick: COMPUTER JESUS REFRIGERATOR 

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There's a certain suspension of sensibility necessary when encountering KOKOFREAKBEAN, be it his recordings as COMPUTER JESUS REFRIGERATOR, the animations he's produced for Adult Swim or Funny or Die, or even his emails. For example, when asked what's the one thing people should know about CJR, he responded as such:

"The COMPUTER JESUS REFRIGERATOR is a bulbous and giddy conflagration of pure love and extreme hate in the midst of this rambunctious and long-winded apocalyptic millisecond," wrote KOKOFREAKBEAN. "It is the itch in your snatch and the glint in your eye. It's Satan's most hated cyst and God's least favorite bunion. Within its fluffy confines are roads to both salvation and damnation but at its core always resides a dogged pursuit of the new and splendiferous."

Other answers detail his adoration for Macho Man Randy Savage, time he spent apprenticing as a shaman in Jalisco and the fruitful creative relationship he shares with a box of broccoli. He also shared a Ren & Stimpy video.

This can all feel like nonsense at first pass, and it very well may be. But given enough prolonged exposure, a certain cracked logic springs forth from his work. CJR performances seem like random wailing on drums and synths, until you compare the live and studio recordings and find they're almost identical, those frantic bleeps and beats carefully timed. Animations that seem like seizure-inducing stoner fare soon reveal deliberate visual elements and structure.

"I fancy myself to be one of the foremost masturbators on planet Earth above all else," KOKO explained. "In all its wayward pursuits, the CJR aspires to the higher primitive consciousness of nature's untamed, impulsive pixies. That's where the magic happens."

Those who have seen CJR perform live may know something of this untamed, primitive energy. Dressed as a deep-space samurai, KOKO communicates only in an alien tongue, which to most ears sounds like a series of shrieks and yelps. The performance itself, comprised of roughly a half dozen songs played in about 10 minutes, can blaze by without giving one much chance to figure out what the hell just happened. But those bursts of organized noise, provided by KOKO's own rapid-fire drumming, have a strange way of boring into the consciousness. Or, more ably put in his own words, "The speed and dexterity with which I manipulate and manhandle my doodads and hickey-bobs is a wonder to behold and a privilege to administer. Beyond that, it's all just a big, hazy, incestuous plume of colors, pops, shapes and jingle-jangles."

Nonsense or not, KOKOFREAKBEAN and COMPUTER JESUS REFRIGERATOR have found something on the verge of chaos and comprehensibility; it's just a matter of whether you're willing to walk out on that edge with him.

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October 6, 2021

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