Decades / Failures – 002

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  • Artist: Decades / Failures
  • Genre: Post-punk
  • Released : 2014 on Dead Tank Records, self-released on Bandcamp

This review came about as a recommendation from Instagram user and fellow music fan lightningpaw, who suggested checking out Decades/Failures’s music. Thanks for the recommendation, lightningpaw!

Decades/Failures is Philadelphian Adam Juresko’s post-punk worthy moniker, and I suspect, a knowing nod to two of Joy Division‘s songs. Swathed in glacial synths, complete with distorted baritone and haughty gothic overtones, 002 manages to retain the philosophic introspection of Joy Division and Kraftwerk-aping early New Order, but suitably updated for the millenium with very pretty synths.

I (Never Wanted To) Believe cracks out the cavernous reverb, and the thudding drum machines and primitive synths recall the ceremonial sombreness of early New Order (Movement and Power, Corruption And Lies), while Gentle Forces ‘s industrial clackety sound is reminiscent of the eerie ascending elevator effect on Joy Division’s Insight. The song gradually gains momentum with the addition of ominous bells and fuzzy synths, but cuts off again with the same effect on the intro. Tell Me How is mired in Interpol-esque melancholia, complete with the same tidy rhythm, while the synths weave themselves around the bass like gossamer-thin spider silk.

As a whole, despite the obvious influences 002 is still a joy to listen to, especially for fans of  the primitive electronic sound that was prevalent in the late 70s to the early 80s.

YYVVESS – ART HISTORY

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  • Artist: YYVVESS
  • Released: 2016 on DMT Records
  • Genre: Electronic, vaporwave

Released on DMT Records, the second album from YYVVESS sees him mixing electronic music with the history of ancient civilization. Scratching your head already? Yeah, I was doing that two months ago. That’s what made me wanna write about this album though.

Why history, out of every possible subject? Why not Greek philosophy? Or applied chemistry? Admittedly, I have yet to see EDM mixed with Plato, but the optimist in me imagines it as a really awesome mash-up. One can hope.

The thematic concept isn’t new to the vaporwave genre- Pyravid’s Googleplex Bionetwork was one of the first few vaporwave albums where the often lambasted “aesthetics” took a backseat. Pyravid, armed with Microsoft samples, synths and beats, transported the listener to an unexpected vision of vaporwave – a Microsoft-enmeshed living, breathing jungle utopia in 16 tracks. Mother Nature in perfect harmony with technology.

I have this feeling that YYVVESS’s ART HISTORY might have attempted to be an aural history textbook, but unfortunately the album just hangs in mid-air halfway through. ART HISTORY has its merits though – Human Head, one of my favourite tracks, has pretty synths resembling Indonesian gamelans against a syncopated beat, and Bronze Vessel sees the introduction of exotic elements (jungle bird calls, elephants). The tracks after Stone Cist Tomb are rather forgettable, probably because they sound the same after a while. And it’s not the song length – the album duration hovers around 30 minutes.

Still, not all’s lost – I’m still hitting the repeat button on Human Head! Here’s a sample!

 

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