Aug 2013 26

XP8 - AdrenochromeXP8
Category: Electro / Futurepop
Album: Adrenochrome
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: The classic motifs of cyberpunk literature add a fresh flavor to XP8’s established blend of electro energy, rendering Adrenochrome a wildly entertaining even if not entirely original experience.


 

From the outset, the Italian duo of Marco Visconti and Marko Resurreccion was set to deliver an album that determinately expanded beyond the existing catalog. The act’s insistence on releasing this newest material independently, albeit with the help of a hugely successful crowd funding campaign, and the desire to build Adrenochrome around the latter’s very own cyberpunk novella were all symptoms of a new and elaborate approach of XP8 to the creative process. With each of the 11 tracks corresponding to a relevant literary chapter (all of them bundled with the album), story and music are intertwined to provide the listener with a fully fleshed out conceptual record that appears as impressionistic in its aural structure as it is firmly set on creating a focused and narrative driven experience.

“The milky noon light stung his eyes, the supposedly blue sky wrapped in a poisonous white shroud, and he longed for the darkness of the alley,” reads the first chapter of Adrenochrome, and while it is hard to imagine a piece of cyberpunk fiction truly transcending the legacy of Neuromancer, the record’s companion piece does a sufficient job of contextualizing the order of beats and lively synthesizers that on “Awakenings” alerts the listener that while XP8 did not dismiss its club legacy, the music is indeed enhanced by the mood building ambient passages and grittier, industrial textures dominating compositions like “Going Underground.”

“The asphalt on which she left nano-particles of tyres was part of her self, part of the circuit of her destiny, printed in bones and blood, hidden in the universe behind her eyes.” “Information” benefits from the accessible pop structure with the song’s chorus echoing through the track all the way to “Night Run,” which manages to organically transition to the dance floor destined pace with soft synthesizers transforming into immediately infectious rhythms and the all out sonic boom. Where “Information” patiently explores the nuances of the narrative, “Night Run” lets you enjoy the music at face value, making it potential DJ fodder and hopefully a track that we will hear more of the likes of.

“In the void extending all around him, in the depth of the landscape drawn by his own brain, he feels there’s still plenty to be done: a future to be built for the people, inside their heads.” The holistic nature of Adrenochrome doesn’t tame the creativity of XP8 but does seem to limit its scope and there are moments, especially on the album’s second half, when the dynamic of the relationship between the narrative and the music shifts and melodies lose their self contained appeal, beginning to serve the secondary illustrative role. Thankfully, from the less memorable “Hunters” to the closing “Inside Their Heads,” the album rediscovers its balance and the closing 10 minutes are filled with raving electronica and angry vocals that gradually dissolve into one final injection of haunting futurepop brilliance.

Ultimately, Adrenochrome, is largely indebted to Gibson-esque literary tropes and XP8’s very own flair for dynamic and crisp electro that the act has successfully displayed in the past and upon which has build its scene recognition. And while surprises are few, with both the narrative and the music playing out their predetermined beats with precision, there is no denying that this latest record from Italy’s prime electro export hitherto remains the band’s most accomplished, finite and satisfying.
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Track list:

  1. Awakenings
  2. Camden Town
  3. Getaway
  4. Information
  5. Night Run
  6. Beyond the Looking Glass
  7. Going Underground
  8. Hunters
  9. Hostages
  10. Showdown
  11. Inside Their Heads

 
XP8 Website http://www.xp8.org
XP8 MySpace http://www.myspace.com/xp8
XP8 Facebook http://www.facebook.com/officialXP8
XP8 Twitter http://twitter.com/officialxp8
XP8 Bandcamp http://officialxp8.Bandcamp.com
2393 Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/azrael2393
 
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Bandcamp
 
2013-06-01
 
Damian Glowinkowski (DamienG)

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