Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The Emergency on Metal Postcard Records
Some of the most interesting electronic music is about using the technology in ways that don't try to hide what the technology is actually trying to do. When it doesn't emulate a flute or an actual instrument (which ends up sounding like it's own worst nightmare) and instead tries to create something completely original and celebrate how not human it sounds. I think Emergency recognizes those things in their sounds and plays with their strengths, which sounds like the actual future, not the sexy Tom Cruise future but the monotonous bleak one.
A slight electronic high hat opens A-Side’s "Spending Time" with a calypso rhythm. Electronic drums led by the emulated conga, it's heavy on percussion and a big bass synth puts together a track reminiscent of The Faint or !!!, that indie dance sound that was really getting places a couple years back. A pile of handclaps push this into solid party territory while the vocal is hardly exercising an kind of effort. It's that straightforward cold modern take on the sound. These bass tones really shine on vinyl especially that dub drop - going from nothing and then bringing it all back into focus, reminding me of that INXS track with the talking, (you mean "Mediate"? - ed) talking about the mess of contemporary society. Fulfilling desires. He doesn't have to tell me. I'm still waiting for the reissue of The Unicorns record to ship.
The thing is about these guys by now that's clear on B-Side's, "Switch me" is they seem like in this harsh environment they've accepted this stark dance floor after last call. They're taking the instruments of this modern society and trying their hardest in their robotic way to tell you what life is all about. It's a struggle to want to care about trumped up cymbal crashes and inhuman rhythm but then that's how Autobahn sounded didn't it? So foreign that it's a bit repulsive, you don't want to even give it a chance. No humans had anything to do with this! Fuck it. But they didn't come up with this by themselves - we all made them that way. The stilted rhythms are echoes of Herbie Hancock's mannequins spazzing around in scary ways. Real harsh synth comes in so inorganic that the mere playing of it brings some kind of humanity to the table and turns this back around, layering up the key stabs but it's still all plotted out in a grid, processed on that dot matrix printer, reminding you how far it's all come. Or has it?
On metal postcard records, check the usual distros or discogs.