In the ever-increasing realm of digital music, there comes an emergence of new genres at a faster pace than once thought. When electronic music first came to play, it was only plain beats and rhythms, and evolved to what we call “Dubstep.” With that evolution came many more branches of other electronica music. As of late, the genre dubbed “Dark-synth” has seen its popularity rise from influences of gothic pop, metal, and techno.
I was given the opportunity to listen to the album, Transhumanism, by Tommy ‘86, a French electronic musician. The album is based on the concept of a futuristic project called “L.V.T.H.N.” that emulates a human brain. Its progressive A.I. was compiled from the collective digitization of human thought. L.V.T.H.N has since surpassed mortal intelligence and turned into a living nightmare.
At the start of the album, Transhumanism samples an automatic start up of futurist motherboards with electronic beats that sound like they came out of Tron. As Tommy ‘86 uses no lyrics in his work, he relies on the sound of his beats to tell the story, but with a twist. As his name suggests, the sound of Tommy ‘86’s electronic music has an 80’s video game vibe to it, making it seem like a classic, sci-fi B-movie being played out for us. With looped sounds of major notes being played, we get a euphoric mood as a utopia is being built, and the sense that the L.V.T.H.N. Project will bring what is good to society. However, there is a brief pause on the track, “Sequential Slavery,” where it seems that this A.I. has officially started up, but, immediately after this robotic sound, the synth gets immensely darker, signaling that L.V.T.H.N. is not what it seems.
Further diving into the album, Transhumanism goes inside the central unit of the A.I. The beats go incredibly fast as the mind of this machine is much more intelligent and complex than intended. The power and volume of the electronic music increases as the album is playing its length, giving rise to the magnificence of L.V.T.H.N.
Soon, individuals try to combat this force with another machine much like L.V.T.H.N. but they fail as the power behind this grand machine overtakes the doppelganger, and becomes something way more powerful than anything a human can create, more powerful than L.V.T.H.N. can even know itself. The futuristic setting of Transhumanism is no longer safe for human lifeforms.
Tommy ‘86 creates a wonderful piece of music with fantastic storytelling and nostalgia. Transhumanism turns a relative unknown genre of music into a piece that every electronic music lover should own in their CD collection, and will even turn heads of those who predominantly do not enjoy electronica.
Another album this week comes from the Phoenix parody group, Okilly Dokilly, a hardcore band that uses Ned Flanders, from The Simpsons, as a gimmick with their lyrics and clothing attire. Mentioning that their lyrics are comprised of 75% Ned Flander quotes, 10% other quotes from Simpson’s characters, and 15% original lyrics, Howdilly Doodilly provides a much needed laugh in a saturated music industry.
Once again, this was an album that came with a massive surprise for which I did not expect it to be good, however, I was utterly mistaken. The album is very short, but the composition is extremely coherent and the vocals are, simply, flat-out-good.
Although the band does not take themselves seriously, it is without question that the music itself is hard-hitting and noteworthy. Okilly Dokilly provides solid songwriting where it has a nice mix between normal singing and rough, raspy vocals. Howdilly Doodilly gives great versatility from a Beach Boys influence to a Washington, D.C. hardcore influence as it keeps impressive originality for engagement. I highly recommend giving this band a listen for it is not what you expect.
So, instead of thinking about the “last times,” or living with the expectations of yesterday, suck the marrow out of life.
– Cold Pierce