Title: p0stm0dern p0stm0rtem
Keywords: EDM, Electronic, Experimental, Ambient, Art Pop, Avant-garde, Avant-Pop, Dream Pop, Electro, Indie Noise, Noise Pop
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
When I started this review, I didn’t realize that what I was going to be hearing would lead to all these introductory words you’re reading right now, flowing out like nothing. Kind of funny how that happens, you know? Especially when you can’t think of any good way to begin a review. Fingers just kind of hit keys, and the next thing you know, there’s an introductory paragraph washing over you, filling you with introductoriness. It’s so strange.
Then, just like that, it’s over. Second paragraph. I’m glad, though. You don’t really want to spend too much time in something like that, it’s best to ride it out, keep your head together and drink plenty of water. So, where was I before all that? Ah, I was listening to some music!
I reviewed p0stm0rtem awhile back, and I really enjoyed it! You can read that over here. This album promises to be something completely different, in a way. From an obsession with forever to this, which is actually an older work. It’s both postmodern and postmortem. It’s like, maybe awhile ago, we were modern and living, now we are neither. We have entered the beyond, a sonic graveyard where past meets present and future. Maybe I hadn’t really thought of it in quite these terms, but the postmodern world is kind of like death, in a way. It seems to be inescapable in its ever-presence, looming over us, rendering null all our innate senses of the sacred. It’s the kind of world in which a tree could fall in a forest and no one would buy the album it took a tree to shred into paste to make the cover for and then be asking, “but did it really make a sound” and yeah, wrap your head around that, Schrödinger. Because, we’re all like, “yeah, of course it did, and I wish the argument against deafness having no profound effect on reality outside our collective skulls weren’t so compelling sometimes”.
But, that’s what it comes down to. Death is compelling. The end is compelling. Mortality surrounds us. So, let’s listen to this and just forget all the pseudo-philosophical nonsense! Aside from all the post-modern distancing we’ve become so accustomed to, this post-modern album may even affirm it’s proposed antithesis.
Yeah, that’s foreshadowing.
The first track is called ‘Dancing With Bleeding Wounds’ and it’s like a hi-speed sufi mystic dance, the frequencies are spinning and there’s a subtle breakbeat and robo-voice. I like the way the vocals are produced, panned and hitting a frequency band with light distortion… the vocals are going hard with a kind of tonal wail of emotion, and it’s really cool juxtaposed against this playful spinning vortex of electronics. Chip arps fly in for a bit. Yeah!
Next is ‘Suicide Dream’, which has a kind of trance vibe, the whole thing feels driven by sequences and filters. It’s like being in a kind of panicked race car, feeling like gripping the seat a bit because we’re hitting very unsafe speeds… or maybe everything outside is moving really fast and we’re standing still and everything is an illusion. Maybe nothing is moving and my eyes are closed! I’m liking the vocals on this one, too!
There’s a low breakbeat intro to ’14thef8′, and then… everything becomes for me an incomprehensible spinning synthetic masterpiece! I love all the elements of this, it’s like something that should have an animated video by some really brilliant artist. I can almost imagine it in my head. This is on the weirdest end of electro that I’ve heard (but in a good way!). Spaceship sounds, laser alarm clocks, microphone technology from another planet, and the repeating buzzing synth tone sequences. It takes a few moments for the song to really establish in your head just what it is you’re hearing, which is exciting!
Further into space on ‘To Cure Is To Endure’, an ambient explosion and more heady space trance groove sequencing, somewhat distilled to a broken state. Suddenly, an electro-jazz eruption of spacy tech pads and a string chord hit, aaaahh! Chills, a bit there. Light-speed noise whirring by. This is rad! I really enjoy the vocals on this one, too, and the lyrics.
There is a distorted darkness at the beginning of ‘MYRAGEINCAGEISMINEANDMINEONLY’ and it soon develops with some smooth breaks, a low, resonant acid bassline… all the lights went off, except for the scary flashing ones in the dark speaking of dangers unseen, like possible pod evacuation, and screams escalate the tension. The vocals get louder and swell and then collapse…
… a pleasant string section awaits on ‘Mono VS Stereo’, and this track changes itself up a few times, seeming to want to use as many different sounds it can find, verging on what is sounding like the patch bank of a midi-keyboard, but very well produced! It feels like a very strange and fun day on a beach, but like in very very vivid, contrasty color and throwing out all lucidity regarding the experience.
There is wild, wobbly and pumping techno thing happening now, on ‘WE THA LIFE’ which features Chesca Umeno. It seems to alternate between these lovely melodic chorus sections and then these experimental breakdown sections, so you lose all sense of time and place in the groove. Throughout, a clippy clap, indescribable and odd sounds, a kind of jazz shuffle. It’s pretty great!
Horns blast in on ‘GEMINI SWAGGER’, which feels like some wah-heavy funk and I’m digging it and then, blam, electronically altered jazzfunk HEAT! I feel like usually only Scorpio and Aquarius seem to get this kind of funky treatment, so it’s nice seeing Gemini enter the fold. This is probably my fave jam on the whole album so far, even though I loved a lot of others, for being so much fun! I love the synth flourishes thrown in and the way an echo with a tight decay is used to make the frequencies feel damaged.
Next up is the frenetic electro stomp of ‘Rendered Conversation -WHEREAMI-‘. It’s very headcharged, and the noises here are very hard to distinguish. Am I hearing a distorted voice? Or is that a horn of some kind? The sounds are manipulated, contorted into nearly unrecognizable shapes, alien configurations that still manage to evoke a peculiar familiarity.
‘Beyond The Eternity’ signals it’s entrance with the clatter of cymbals, then there is a full-on blast of electronic sounds, and your mind wanders to every shadow seeking the form of harmony, but the total feeling is one like the drooling gaze of wonderment. If you think you can say what exactly is going on, the next minute you’re cast into doubt and uncertainty. Best to relax! Eventually, the jagged chiptune sequences are all that is left and the cymbal tells us it’s time to brush ourselves off, we’ve returned from the clouds.
Hard to believe it’s over, feels like we had just begun. Funny, I had this really strange dream earlier that I was trapped in an introduction! Oh well.
Here’s a link to this really nice album I just talked about… so you should listen to it for real… and tell the world! Tell the world, like when Scrooge finally broke his century-old existence of humbuggery or bumhuggery or whatever and started throwing money out the windows and screaming about christmas to anyone who’d listen, I mean, I’m pretty sure that happened in the book but it’s been awhile. Like… be that. Be that about this music… people need to hear it!
… oh, right, the link, thanks for reminding me: