Sci Fi Industries ‎– Architectural Development

Thisco ‎– Thisk.04
CD, Album



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May 13, 2012
Electronic music owes a lot to it's living ancesters, TANGERINE DREAM. When they tried to muscle in with their descendents a couple of years ago the result was a rather dull deal, destined to appear as background music for breaks in transmission on television - not exactly colour-sapped, but a pale, pastel-left-in-the-sun collection of harmless throw-away tunes with no sense of adventure and none of the bravery needed to live in the New World they had helped create.

SCI FI INDUSTRIES seem to take over the edgeless mess they made and say "look, if only you had tried this - done that - added this here". While their music pushed no limits either, they seem to have got the mix right. The central core of the music is a smooth, charming keyboard / synth music, aimed at calming rather than energising the listener. Around this they weave percussive patterns which, while not anywhere as complex as the Junglist fraternity, have at least made notes and assimilated some of the tricks and styles. The various drum sounds are fed through reverb, flangers and filters, instilling in their rather rigid skeletal bodies more variety and dynamism than straightforward playing would have managed to do. There's even a hint of Hip Hop in there, as well as trace elements of Ambient Dub's less indulgent brethren.

They skate around the edges of experimentalism, as so many do these days, touching on such estranged tribes as EBM and Ambient, while never throwing their lot into any particular circle. Sometimes they manage to sound like a lot of music that was coming out of ANTLER-SUBWAY a decade ago. They even manage to bridge the gap between CABARET VOLTAIRE circa "Body And Soul" and FRONT 242. Certainly they utilise the former's vocal experimentations and the latters' down and dirty throbbing groove.

Some of this reminds me of PRESSUREHED and NIK TURNER, nudging my thinking towards CLEOPATRA's electronic siblings in general.

It has to be said that there's a huge amount of stuff happening in and around the central core of the music. Frills and filigree tendrils interweave around the diffuse - but - solid core. Particles float in undisturbed air, ribbons of sound flutter in a gentle breeze and gentle fairy lights tinkle and shimmer, all enveloping the music in a magical cloak of sound.

It could be said that instrumentals are dumb. They lack voice, as it were. This music might benefit from the added dimension of an other worldly SYLVIAN, or maybe some half-whispered, half intoned dreamer, soporifically drifting through the various soundscapes. But then again, maybe this recording has all it needs - anything else might distract from the clean sheets of sound that billow and gust out of the speakers. The gaps are certainly filled.

The cover claims they used computers only one one track - whether they refer to PCs, or any music-dedicated computer (which includes programmable drum machines, I venture) I'm not at all certain.

Nothing here radical or new, but a nice little album to have on in the background. All very entertaining.

Originally reviewed for Metamorphic Journeyman.