Category: Electro / Industrial / Rock
Blurb: Drawing on the tropes of cyberpunk literature and cinema, complete with a bevy of high profile musical guests and complementary visuals, this full-length debut from Victor Love is quite an entertaining experience.
Victor Love has over the course of his career cultivated numerous musical partnerships fronting gothic alt./rock band My Sixth Shadow and electro/punk rockers Dope Stars Inc. Now having decided to embark on a solo career, free from any constraints to explore his own predilections for dystopian cyberpunk futurism, with the full-length Technomancy album serving as the musical backdrop. Taking place in a near future setting where “advanced technology has become indistinguishable from magic,” and with visuals inspired by the 8-bit artwork of the ‘80s by Valenberg, Technomancy shows Love at the height of his musical powers, complete with a bevy of collaborators like Army of the Universe, Aborym, Spiritual Front, and Deathstars.
From the get go, listeners will notice a discernable grittiness to Love’s production style – every organic element, from the booming drums to the growling guitars and Love’s shrill and raspy voice bears a raw and rather acerbic tonality, while the programming and synths are deceptively simplistic and quite catchy. The opening track and introductory single featuring KMFDM, “Bitchcraft” is the most immediate example of the album’s sonic power, with Love employing a rap-like delivery amid a pulsating electronic bass line that with the addition of a distorted synth and guitar accompaniment sinks its hooks right into the listeners’ psyches to pull them into the world of Technomancy. Songs like “Cocaine” and “Machine Gun” with their percussive hip-hop stylings, and “I Curse You” and “Blind or Dead” with their insidiously slow tempos and unsettling vocal harmonies, the latter track having a uniquely robotic quality, all evoke an urban atmosphere. On the other hand, the in-your-face rockers “Can’t You Remember” and “The New System” hit hard with energetic beats, percolating synth passages, and guitars so caustic that they threaten to destroy your speakers, while closing track “Black Dreams” is more danceable fare with trancelike synth lines and a steady beat befitting any DJ’s set list.
Through the album, it seems that Love has restricted himself to a basic set of sound patches, making for what in most artists’ hands would seem like a limited palate, but in Love’s hands, adds to the sense of immersion. Technomancy paints a grim picture of a world overrun by technology, its inhabitants locked in a prison of their own creation. It all sounds a bit familiar, culling from the influence of the likes of William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Philip K. Dick, and all the classic manga and anime titles we all know and love from the ‘80s, which along with Valenberg’s artwork only serves to enhance Love’s vision. It’s a rather novel retro/futuristic approach that could easily fall into the category of pastiche… but that’s not a bad thing as Love and his guests manage to deliver quite an entertaining experience with Technomancy.
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Storming the Base CD
Storming the Base Vinyl
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)