Released: May 8th 2014
From: Chicago, Illionois
This one man band started out in 1990. The first track The Eidetic is like a punch to the gut as the song burst frantically through the speakers and leaves its mark. The rambunctious rhythms are heavy and unforgiving. Labelled as Industrial and rightly so for the clanking thumps and bangs within the track, although no vocals but further on the melodic shuffle just brings the track alive.
Transmitter is a real stomper, you can feel your limbs twitching as this one starts to play. The beats and rhythms are tumultuous and constant through-out its reign and very addictive.
A far cry from the previous two tracks with sweeping synth melodies The Radiant lives up to its title and is a very sophisticated piece of writing. It has its antagonistic moments of jabbing rhythms but still surrounded by an awe of inspiring sound.
World System just sonically manifests itself and devours the ears with a rippling of madness that builds to an almighty level. One can almost imagine machinery turning to this one, with its industrial element ever present. Superb track!
Samples begin on Remote Field with heavier rhythms coming in at intermittent stages and then a choppy synth intervenes giving it a crisp edge with a wiry sound and the drum beats really adding to its changing depths.
The sparseness on Polarized gives it a simple sound until a resonating beat enters and sweeping keyboard that allows for a beautiful melody and is quite a poignant track, However it holds a dark side of bristling rhythms that feed feverishly on the psyche and the ambient samples sound like they are being transported to earth from a distant planet.
Brehmstrahlung is a very interesting track of twisting and winding rhythms that play out to a mesmerizing and intense little melody. It immediately involves the listener to go into some form of trance and feed off its beauty.
Stationery Waves leaves its mark up and down your spine as dark edged notes sweep slowly back and forth like a brimming tide, quite unlike the title. Nothing is stationery, although it is a bit sparse in places but that just adds to the anticipation of the track.
Near Field holds some dark samples along with bongo type beats and is rather a mish mash of sound but not removing itself entirely from its industrial nature, and as it evens out the flow of sinister rhythms brood passionately giving its grey a darker and highly intense edge.
Static Coupling Feat UCNX bursting from its outer limits, a scathing whispering vocal emerges along with deep powerful rhythms. Quite a blazing potent track fuelled with intrigue and chilling consistency. I feel the vocals here really make the track come to life.
The Decay is a very unusual and highly diverse opener here. The sweeping melody is ever present but there is also a heavier, darker side that takes over and it literally cuts down your spine like a shard of glass harnessing a very unique sound indeed.
On a lighter note The Lichtenberg Figure is a melancholic adventure which pulls the listener into its perfectly blended structure and keeps them there through-out the entirety of the track. Its haunting screams in the background really add to its calibre.
Cathode is rather a ‘chunky’ track that wouldn’t be frowned upon in an alternative club – so be prepared to don the furry boot covers - go grab a spot on the dance floor and make your own history. A very worthwhile repeatable track.
The Believers is a beautiful sweep of piano that offers enlightenment for the listener. Its notes are carved with painstaking love and attention to detail. The way it builds but doesn’t go all out – just keeping you on the edge of your seat is highly teasing.
“The music is highly sophisticated and captivating in its own right. It really catches you ‘off guard’ with beautiful passages and paints out imaginative scenery that the listener can put their own interpretations to, which is very clever indeed!”
The Alien Property is a darker edged piano ensemble but the melodies come into their own here and house a classical feel to its captivating surroundings.
The Doldrum explodes into a wild orgy of rippling rhythms and hard edged beats that make it interesting and adding energy to the list. Lavishly embellished with higher energy grooves and biting atmospherics it is another great track.
The Futurist moves back to a more classical feel with an orchestral sound that sweeps over the ears tenderly and couldn’t be further removed from its industrial genre if it tried.
Anna has Spanish influences on guitar and a haunting keyboard flourish, again a very diverse track which is exciting to the listener as it plays out.
And to finish Steve has gone for an up tempo beat with classical tendencies on Discharge the melodic sway here is just phenomenal without being too over the top and pushy. It’s gentle, atmospheric and very imaginative.
To Sum up:
I was expecting the usual industrial electronic bouncing melodies and hard wired sound and what I experienced was something a lot more sophisticated – not that I’m complaining, but the old saying ‘Don’t judge the jam by the label on the jar’ comes to mind here.
This entire album has been an absolute pleasure to review from start to finish. You just don’t know what to expect with it. It is industrial in places but moves away from that at times and brings in highly condensed classical features, which was a pleasant surprise.
The fact there are no vocals (apart from on Static Coupling Feat UCNX) didn’t really matter too much as the music holds the listeners attention span and doesn’t let it drop for a second.
The music is highly sophisticated and captivating in its own right. It really catches you ‘off guard’ with beautiful passages and paints out imaginative scenery that the listener can put their own interpretations to, which is very clever indeed.
A very diverse album and one that holds imagination in abundance. It may not be all singing all dancing, but when a dance track does appear like Cathode it just changes the listener’s perceptions so all in all a fantastic and surprising listen.
Static Coupling Feat UCNX
The Lichtenberg Figure
The Alien Property
Steve Christie - Everything
Take a listen: Coupling (Feat. UCNX)
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