Sunday, March 23, 2014

Static Metal

Can an instrumental album describe a dystopian world? I think it can, and an example of this is The Geeky Disco Experiment's Static Metal.  A cohesive collection of sound collage and ominous simple melody, it reflects an increasingly difficult world rendered in sound. Unafraid of being dissonant, it's sonic imagery calls up visions of things falling apart, of clockwork menace clicking along, threatening to break down.

The opening cut, Electric Future Collective is such a vision. Using only six samples as a base it lumbers along, building the story of a mechanical future, biology all gone and replaced with an unfeeling artificial intelligence. A strong opening that states the themes of the album. It reinforces the idea of dystopia for me, and was an excellent choice for the first cut.  

The artist describes the album as growing out of an impetus to create using metallic and static sounds, with the definition of static here likely a double entendre, meaning both unmovable and noise. He often uses piano tones as a melodic device, big ominous and simple, blending with noise bursts and clicking metallic beats. It provides focus on many of the tracks. Dissonance is a tool here too, contrasting and complimenting the simple melodies and beats.

The title cut Metal Static hits you with an atemporal burst of noise, a long one at that. This reinforces the idea on this album that these pieces are not necessarily intended to be enjoyable.  That is not to say that they are not listenable, and  the dissonance created is a weave of sound that interacts and interferes with itself interesting ways. Perhaps not for the ears of a casual music listener, but gives an active listener plenty of things to consider.

Drunk Zarathustra builds from a simple rhythmic pulse . It ads a warm bass to reinforce, then builds to a huge conclusion, using tones that remind one of a drill. Again our metallic theme plays out. This cut seems to exemplify much of the collection, and is an excellent single example of the ideas presented.

T.F.A.L. rounds out the collection, and includes a rare vocal, a chant of the existential, which sits neatly in the mix, providing a focus for the infectious rhythm bed. Surely this is a track not to be missed, like the album itself.

Geeky Linkies: @13LFO on Twitter, and The Geeky Disco Experiment on Bandcamp.