Dec 2022 01

Album CoverBarcoder
Album: Lotek Sessions
Category: Industrial / Noise
Label: CRLStudios
Release Date: 2022-02-22


While not as specific as Barcoder’s You Were Bought and Sold Cheap debut or the recent “Off with His Head” single, James Church gestures toward the political landscape in the first two tracks of the project’s latest album, Lotek Sessions, almost seeming to ask how one lives with all of it. Fortunately, music does not have to offer answers; instead, Barcoder expresses that one might try to live, and even want to, but certain conditions make living intolerable. Both present oppressive sound design and compelling beats, each song taking Church’s percussive and noise-laden sound in different directions. “Cannot See the Light” uses drones that sound like power stations, distorted textures, and an insistent locomotive beat to start. The intensity is maintained, but varied as Church will drop the drones out for a whispered lyrical passage, only to turn up with an overdriven chorus. Despite the overwhelming tension and noisy sound design, Church’s smart structures prevent it from dissolving into chaos. “Dying to Try” takes us in the direction of sludge metal through an industrial lens, slowing the tempo down and introducing a brief thrash riff that contrasts with rising and falling sirens, clashing metal, and deep bass. The remaining original tracks, “Unidentifiable Noise” and “Some Other Meaningless Action” are diverting experiments, recalling Church’s talents in producing breakcore. Of the remixes offered, Slighter’s remix of “Cannot See the Light” stands out for the sheer variety brought to the original. Ironically, what the song loses in oppressive atmosphere is made up by stripping down elements of the song, making Church’s vocal less distorted and demoting some vocals to background textures. The percussion is also cleaned up and refined for maximum impact. Similarly, Glue On Smile’s remix of “Dying to Try” employs dubstep bass wobbles and witch house percussion, while the hEADaCHE remix of “Cannot See the Light” returns to breakcore territory, connecting the dots to Church’s other interests and making this slight release a valuable and intriguing step in Barcoder’s development as a solo project.
Track list:

  1. Cannot See the Light
  2. Dying to Try
  3. Unidentifiable Noise [Instrumental Version]
  4. Some Other Meaningless Action (ft. Illuminator)
  5. Cannot See the Light [Slighter Remix]
  6. Dying to Try [Glue On Smile Remix]
  7. Cannot See the Light [hEADaCHE Remix]

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Justin Roby (c.pollard)

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