Jan 2021 06

Album CoverAnatoly Grinberg and Mark Spybey
Album: The Failure of Language
Category: IDM / Post-industrial / Experimental
Label: Ant-Zen
Release Date: 2020-11-06


Anatoly “Tokee” Grinberg and Mark Spybey have long established themselves as pioneering forces in experimental music, often transcending the conventions of the genres of electronic and industrial music into a realm that is completely their own. Among their latest collaborations is The Failure of Language, a tumultuous aural journey in which the two figures address the social and political turmoil of our times, searching for meaning when words and the normal parameters of thought and human discourse seem for naught. Could the answers be found in an examination of our shared history, as tracks like the opening title track, “Hymn President,” and It Started to Move Towards Me” seem to ask as they evoke a sense of civilization long since forgotten, the punchy and rhythmic bass effects sure to send listeners’ bodies into spasms of simultaneous delight and despair, the beat structures intricate yet restrained. Spybey’s voice remains as impenetrable and as acerbic as ever, with effects applied to keep his tonality at a distant and keeping his words on the verge of obscurity; when they are heard, as in the iterations of “You are a traitor” and “Shoot them in their hearts” on “The Innocents Song,” or “You are blind, you are blinded” on “I Am Lost in the Blinding,” they carry a weight of significance, even if the listener is not entirely aware of their meaning. And perhaps this is the point, as the album’s themes of ill communication and willful ignorance resound amid glitch-laden soundscapes that demonstrate Grinburg’s proficiency in programming and production, Spybey taking on the organic component not only with his voice, but stabs, strums, and slashes of guitar, piano, trumpet, and whatever else he can get his hands on. Even on the calmer, more ambient tracks like “The Sun Roars” and “Sensationnel,” both of which feature lush swells of pads conveying lovely melodic progressions that are interrupted by the cacophony of mechanical rhythms and echoed voices that seem to dissipate in and out of tune, are at once poetic and disconcerting to make The Failure of Language a less-than-tranquil but sonically rewarding experience. Of course, it’s not a far cry from what either Grinberg or Spybey have delivered before in their past outings and other collaborations, so the record may struggle to stand out in their individual discographies; still, it’s a finely crafted and sophisticated album that should appease genre fans.
Track list:

  1. The Failure of Language
  2. The Innocents Song
  3. The Forever Walk
  4. Hymn President
  5. Arc or First Arc
  6. The Sun Roars
  7. It Started to Move Towards Me
  8. I Am Lost in the Blinding
  9. Sensationnel
  10. We Know What We Know

Dead Voices on Air
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Anatoly “Tokee” Grinberg
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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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