The sound collagist-turned-pop composer, whose "Ain't Ain't Ain't" was released Tuesday on Silver Lake's Anti-, spends his days helping international scientists communicate. An English language tutor at Brooklyn's Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Fite of late has been learning about the scientific evils of the world, namely the technological timebombs that are hardware Trojans.
"It’s terrifying," Fite said while on lunch break. "People are hacking technology at the chip level. They’re implanting Trojans in chips before they’re implanted in different pieces of technology. Then they’re activated and can take over the world. [One of my students] figuring out how to keep people from hardware-hacking a nuclear missile, sending it careening into nice people who don’t deserve to die.
"It’s a little more important than rock 'n’ roll, and I’m glad I can help with the grammar."
It helps keep Fite's career, one that's been largely conducted in obscurity, in perspective. "The financial situation right now looks bleak," Fite said when asked whether he had plans to tour to L.A. With "Ain't Ain't Ain't" his last album due to Anti-, Fite's recording future is now entering a phase of the unknown.
Personality-wise, Fite can come across as a bit of an oddball. He might, for instance, instruct his audience to create clay monsters at his concerts, and with songs assembled out of homemade loops and accompanied with cartoonish clips, a Fite concert can sometimes feel like a low-rent "Pee-wee's Playhouse." Melodic exploration, however, is placed ahead of weirdness, and "Ain't Ain't Ain't" is equally childlike and meticulous.