Bizarre Curiosities: Rummaging Through the Depths of the Electronic Underground

While the first half of the year has given us a surprising amount of good metal, electronica still continues to hide a few salvageable records that have potential. Escaping from the revisionist nostalgia that the more popular artists in the style seek to recreate in order to use the same tools to express different ideas.

On Interrupt – “Time Travelling”:

Very rhythmic base that involves a locked up bass melody and percussion that create tension for the two high layers to explode from. Despite the bassline obeying the percussions it does have an inherent melody as it clearly states the chord progression. A lot of ideas are compacted into this song but the transitions make sense in their respective contexts and the song eventually pushes towards a conclusion through its twists and turns. Unlike many songs in the genre it doesn’t overly rely on the layers to introduce each idea but allows each melody to run out of momentum before bringing the next idea. The conclusion finishes the song on a logical note but doesn’t provide much satisfaction as the song feels more like a salad of multiple ideas than a cohesive song. A much more melody driven take on the style that could benefit from a smaller number of ideas while maintaining the unique chord progressions shown here.

Xetrovoid – “Hunt Mode”:

A pulsating rhythm that allows a singular melody to slowly develop on top. The song central melody is long and slowly slithers on top playing with the chromatic notes in the natural minor scale. There are ornamental recursive melodies that seek to only highlight the underlying melody. The transitions between ideas occur as slowly as possible as the song reaches its climax just after the halfway point before a small break that sees reintroduce the climatic section while the ornamental melodies seek to resolve through consonance before ending without a proper conclusion as a lot of more could have been done to end this song on a stable note. A good sense of development in the narrative style that still needs refinement.

STK Sound – Reincarnation

Pure unadulterated minimalism is the modus operandi of this album. Melodies are reduced to short groupings of notes that sound random at first but through long repetition start to make sense. Developments at such a slow pace that the listener can barely notice them at first. On songs like “Only One” there is beautiful interplay between a simple piano melody and some distorted synths that slowly builds the tension towards introducing a standard House beat while an annoying half sung vocal presents itself on top. The repetitive rhythm further entrances the listener in this summery haze. The songs are all long and sometimes the composer lacks discipline as there are elements that seek to break the occasional monotony but do so in the most inappropriate ways by either introducing random ideas or trying to push the song too swiftly into a new direction. When the flow of these songs is not interrupted, the movement from basic to melody to basic melody is well conceived and executed. Unfortunately none of the songs aren’t interrupted as at times drums pound randomly, very weird vocal passages that are terribly sung that destroy the mood created. If STK Sound were to get rid of these distractions while incorporating more of the melodies seen on “Darkness of the Magic”, this could be a highly enjoyable record but for now it remains held back by impatience.

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