Apr 2012 02

32crash - Y2112Y32crash
Category: Industrial / Experimental
Album: Y2112Y
Stars: 4
Blurb: A diverse, intellectually dense album that, given enough patience, becomes an engaging and inventive experience.


 

A Belgian vocalist – Jean-Luc de Meyer of legendary Front 242 – supported by Implant’s Len Lemeire and Jan D’Hooghe (both also equally Belgian) threads an unexpected and often surprising territory with this newest offering from 32crash. Y2112Y is an attempt on a careful symbiosis between orchestration and conceptualization; a rare breed of musical experience that grows out of a total commitment to a singular idea that shapes both thematic and aural properties of the entire album. The year is 2112 and in a hundred years from today, the world shifts into uncertainty as humanoid robots become ubiquitous and mankind fights for survival against a hostile alien civilization. This simple sci-fi setup sets off the pseudo narrative content of Y2112Y, and for the trio of musicians is a playground where different ideas are pursued and forged into a coherent, story driven whole.

The half-serious character of this premise is defined by a quirky, punk rock induced style of the few opening tracks that slowly gives way to richer, more serious material. For example, “Hyperreal” sees de Meyer tapping into a bottomless well of postmodernist philosophy and manifestations of Baudrillard’s writing in his lyrics emerge as both playful and intriguing. So does, to an extent, 32crash’s repeated referencing of the work of Nobelist Ilya Prigogine, whose critique of determinism in the universe goes hand in hand with Y2112Y’s portrayal of an unpredictable, chaotic future. Sadly, some of the most musically arresting songs – like “Elegy for Himself,” strongly reminiscent of Front 242 if played through a wall of heavy guitars – suffer due to de Meyer’s monotone recitation and 32Crash generally makes little compromise with its audience, often shifting between French and English with words being obscured by distortion and music. On an album so heavily emphasizing its themes and narrative constructs, it’s at once encouraging and infuriating to be forced to penetrate them with such commitment and care.

A second half of the album, leaning closer towards synthesized, dirty beats that one might associate with a landscape of cyberpunk literature and cinema, is far more accomplished and contains some of the album’s most memorable moments. “xn+1=a*xn*(1-xn),” despite its unpronounceable title, is a catchy, half-whispered tune that is an infectious fusion of pop, rock, and buzzing flies. Songs like “Not Quite Human,” “Perpetuum Mobile,” and “Lasercutter” find a suitable compromise between ambience and rhythm, while “The Attack on ZA4” turns into a hypnotic, musical illustration of a devastating alien invasion on a human colony on the titular planet ZA4. “MelangOhlm’s Hit and Run” grounds and defines the time and space continuum of the album’s universe and is a surprising throwback to the electronic sensibilities of the ‘80s, continued and reinforced on “A Tiny Foil of Oil.” “The Ol-Lesar Mass” is a pitch-perfect display of nihilism and its dark, metal tones close the album on a highly energetic and totally unexpected note.

32crash - ADMMCXIIClocking in at 71 minutes, 32crash’s Y2112Y is an exhausting journey, but one that is definitely worth taking. Even if the album was entirely stripped of its thematic content, there would be enough arresting sounds and catchy tracks to justify its existence in this particular, deliberate form. Alas, some of the sci-fi inspired concepts explored by de Meyer, Lemeire, and D’Hooghe might seem silly and clichéd and their continuing insistence on amplifying those elements through philosophical and scientific references resonates in a somewhat forced, overtly intellectual manner. Still, regardless of your investment in this newly created universe, Y2112Y is a thoroughly accomplished, diverse album that must be listened to and should be patiently explored.
 
Track list:
Disc 1: Y2112Y

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Disc 2: AD MMCXII

  1. Impressionist Piece for a Free Planet (The Rubber Incident)
  2. The Ol-Lesar Mass (War Song)
  3. 100Y (Ganrif)
  4. Elegy for Himself (Please Dance On My Grave)
  5. Dawning Sun (The Sound of 32C)
  6. The Man Who Came from Later (Autostrade)
  7. Human Decomposition (Solved in Acid)
  8. Into the Hole (At the End of the Light)
  9. What Happened Here (3rd Evangelic)
  10. Aliens on Earth (The Core isn’t Liquid Anymore)
  11. A New Order
  12. MelangOhlm’s Hit and Run (Classic Killer Theme)
  13. Not Quite Human (Altered DNA)
  14. Perpetuum Mobile (Will It Blend)
  15. Kryptonically Yours (Particles in Orbit)
  16. xn+1=a*xn*(1-xn) (Tapis Vollante)
  17. Hyperreal (Really Hyper)
  18. Neighbours (The Bitch Next Door Has a Gun)

 
32crash Website http://www.32crash.com
32crash MySpace http://www.myspace.com/32crash
32crash Facebook https://www.facebook.com/32CRASH
32crash SoundCloud http://soundcloud.com/user3532958
Alfa Matrix Website http://alfa-matrix.com
Alfa Matrix MySpace http://www.myspace.com/alfamatrix
Alfa Matrix Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Alfa.Matrix
Alfa Matrix Twitter http://twitter.com/alfamatrix
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon CD (Limited Edition)
Amazon MP3
Amazon MP3 (Limited Edition – AD MMCXII)
 
2011-10-21
 
Damian Glowinkowski (DamienG)

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