To say this isn’t ambient would be an understatement, and it’s noted here simply because I veer less and less in my writing about music from the quiet zone, whether unnatural or natural or hybrid environments. So, yeah, don’t sit too close to your speakers, and attenuate that volume if you’re using headphones. This is, on a Friday, exactly what I needed. It’s Drumcorps hitting hard with not just his trademark glitched-up drum’n’bass-mediated metal, but the raw thing, as well. It’s RIYL your fond memories of Prong, Slayer, Fugazi, and Godflesh processed by Max Headroom’s digital-native grandkid. The first track is a trick, a sleight of ear, in which the metal starts off without the seams showing, cut and plastered so suddenly that it could be mistaken for (heck, maybe it is) simply a break-neck live performance by someone capable of playing back in realtime what we once craved software to accomplish for us. Either way, the realism soon enough fades in favor of the computer-addled automatic mash-up that Drumcorps is so good at.
It’s interesting how songs like Prince’s “Dance On” and Prong’s “Prime Cut” (prime aesthetic examples to me of human-machine music interface) once seemed so intense, and now don’t. They broke norms at their time, but they’re more (easy) listenable now, the tension gone. What’s great about Drumcorps is it has some of the intensity those songs had when I first heard them. And he’s been at it a long time, and still keeps it fresh.
Drumcorps is Aaron Spectre, originally from Massachusetts and now based in Amsterdam. More at drumcorps.co.