Artist: My Gloomy Machine
Title: Aura Activation
Keywords: Breakbeat, Breakcore, Electroacoustic, Electronic, Glitch, IDM
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
On a day that America seems abuzz with election-related nonsense, I sit alone in the quiet glow of a computer screen listening to an album on bandcamp for review and sipping tea slowly… nothing could seem more perfect really than that. “I am something of an Anarchist, I believe…” The album in question is none other than My Gloomy Machine’s Aura Activation, which is in interesting title of for an album such as this. Using my astounding powers of second-sight (or is it third-sight? I’ll have to take inventory of the number of eyes I’m in possession of later) I’m going to attempt to scry for the colour of the aura of this work while listening.
The first track is the sort of dark bluish grey of ‘R.I.P. Sam B.’, beginning with a glitchy industrial darkscape. Then a sequence starts up, a 4/4 bass kick, then… o.m.g., some dubstep-sounding bass warbles, hopefully we can get away from that soon. Ah, very nice, some ambient string sounds liven the mood into a state of depression. The track has a bit of a neo-electro / electrohouse feel. As the track goes on, you can see the aura begin to change to more of a fuchsia. There are talkbox-sounding synths, trance-esque sequence patterns… an intriguing start, so we shall see how things develop.
Next up, ‘She’ll Now Sleep Forever’ which is like melancholy electro house with a reddish-orange aura that eventually transforms itself into ultraviolet downtempo, which is for me where it started to get really good. Lots of sound manipulation taking place, a ceaseless mechanical vibe.
‘Histoire À Dormir Debout (Remixé Par My Gloomy Machine)’, originally by Nathalie Simard, begins with a sort of electro-reggae vibe of a decidedly yellow-green feel. When the vocals came in I was hooked! It’s a sulky red-violet hue, for sure. It has a little bit of an ’80s feel, like mechanized, twitchy retro-syncopated synthpop. Delicious. It’s absolutely hot, my favourite thing on the album so far!
Track 4 is ‘Saccharine Morning (My Gloomy Machine Remix)’, originally by Enabl.ed. The sound of corrupted noise juxtaposed with very lovely synthetic sounds. It’s largely ambient, very heavily textured by robotics. I’d say it’s aura is… just a purple. Some electro micro-breaks come in, giving the track a very neurotic, processed feel.
‘I Won’t Take The Blame!’ starts off very robo-rock before ascending into sequenced electro house terrain that is almost certainly an electric blue. Eventually that dubstepish bass comes in and makes you want to bang your head. There’s a lunatic laugh in the mix, as well as very rigid sound manipulation and drum programming! Intelligent dubstep music? Can that be a thing now? Conspiratorial sound bytes are followed by gorgeous, melodic soundscapes of the mind. This is a carnation pink with long ultramarine veins running through it.
‘Serum’ is a collab between My Gloomy Machine and Psalmist, a nice goldenrod aura here… more mechanical rhythmic stuff with vocoder, electronic flourishes. Eventually a heavy, industrial beat comes in while the robotic voice speaks. Everything gets a little funky toward the middle… but only for a while, then it’s back to the electrohouse groove.
Lastly, we have the magenta-style and very pretty ‘Pour L’Amour Qu’il Nous Reste ()’ by Francine Raymond. The feminine vocals mesh very well with the superb electro atmosphere. The track has a light, airy feel… it’s like floating, only you get to keep your feet on the ground.
Everything considered, this album was pretty cool. It’s very technically good, stays interesting throughout with the abundant remix work and attention to detail. Despite all the chunky post-industrial sounds used, the album has a very ethereal quality, even during it’s heaviest moments. Suggestion: listen to it at the link!