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Friday, February 20, 2015

Dataphiles - Steampunk CybercrunkEP review

Year : 2015
Genre : electronica, very cyberpunk
Origin : United Kingdom
Official site: http://www.dataphilesmusic.com

Cyberpunk is not dead, it's just in the process of becoming your reality. Your iPhone approves, and it takes you with itself tonight, as this device will likely be the thing that you will be the most immersed in, as it will always give you what you want it to give you in the given moment, but the same could be said of mere technology, which is "just data", and so are you. Mystical design.

The cyberpunk style that was highly popular throughout the '80s and the '90s, - started as a mini-revolution among bored sci-fi authors - had to arrive to a temporary halt and subsequent,- although restrained hiatus when the then-current technological limitations have reached their maximum capacity in the context of interactive stimulus immersion - "yes, but will I be TRULY there?" (Define YOUR(s) "truly".)

But such boundaries can no longer claim legitimacy to their own once-necessary existence, as computational power is widely becoming almost as accessible as gasoline scented air, in order to calculate and render anything that the imagination is able to conjure. Oldflash: in this day and age, humans are super-reliant on technology - wish you had a dollar every time you've read this? - that which pretty much equates with the primary means to access and consume the exact type of streamlined information that you are looking for, driven by your preferences. A YouTube user has no more pronounced nor more valid relevant existence to you then the seconds you are watching her/him for, and this inherent-, almost romantic level of arrogance is every user's right to exercise. Cyberpunk primarily is a mindset, a school of thought, composed of iconographic inner images and m(o)ods, and the musical testaments seeking to represent these aesthetic sentimens have been around the very moment those bored sci-fi authors have arrived to the experimental conclusion that opposing and fearing technology and its machines are not necessarily the optimum stance. Do NOT oppose technology and machines: integrate them instead. This, I feel, is the exact idea behind the new Dataphiles EP, called Steampunk Cybercrunk. Had you not integrate it, you would not have the chance to assess your experience of it. Read on to know more about the release.

The premier name of the game on this contribution is soulfully formed-, yet wisely constrained electronica that dares to showcase more movement in overall gravitational pull than, say, a well developed sci-fi themed goa track would coat your awareness in. The respective character of the sounds on display are more important than the function they represent, which is not something you could say of a stone-orthodox track that first and foremost aims for the establishment of a constant pulsation, oftentimes via very traditional ways.

Not at all so with this release: a proper cyberpunk-prospect is always in the process of playing at least one of the Deus Ex games, and the reason I cite this franchise here is no accident: certain tracks of this EP - especially the second - could be a welcome addition to such interactive cyberpunkisms. Brisk, bright, yet not too aggressive synths are being courted with a healthy amount of tastily sculpted retroid machninia, and, while they would reign as cold as ice when in their solitary form, their splendid symbiosis instantly takes you to the mental vistas you are practically prone to demand from the cyberpunk ethos, Paco "Daniel Greene" Queruak-feeling included.

Notice how the third track on the release captures the same, timeless feeling that the almost-aforementioned film from 1986 - "Atomic Cyborg", for the spiritually perverted - summons when you witness the protagonist driving his big car with his big mechanic hand. And the music is both restrained and sinister. Raw, unrelenting power and lethal danger are essential components in the style, but both need to express themselves in a way as to merely suggest their true character, as you can't really be too "loud" with the dominantly contemplative side of the genre which has a tendency to flirt with ambient fascinations. Sure, you can go all the way cyberpsychosis right from the start, but good luck giving a more precise rendition of said event-surface than Billy Idol's "Shock to the System" does.

Dataphiles' latest offering is a sober-, morosely contemplative release, but let me tell you, that if you (at least think you) are into cyberpunk and you are not prone to be morose in the process from time to time, - I give my everything to anyone who shows me a screenshot of a smiling Adam Jensen - then you are doing it wrong. Which of course is only partly, or not at all true, as this is the main charm of the genre: since technology is so advanced in the genre that it essentially is magic, - there are no fundamental differences between sufficiently evolved technology and magic - everyone is free to sculpt their own reality and interpretation surfaces of the incoming cyberpunk data, musical testaments automatically included.

This responsibility - namely, to precisely express the cultivated inner image of cyberism - is evident in the compositional behavior showcased on the EP. As stated, the characteristics of the sounds are of paramount importance, and their main motivation is to deliver the mood, which mostly is happening on mid-tempo and contemplative rhythms. The denseness of the audible stimuli per given moment rarely if ever challenges background music characterology, but, as I said, the main idea is the mood, and not the concrete story. The story is yours to tell, the music only invites you to let it all out, and that is sufficient.

The fourth and final track on the disc is a relative surprise to me, with instrument choices that I find relatively peculiar for this agenda, which is not at all intended as negative criticism, quite the contrary: it always is intriguing to hear what a fellow awareness can do with a real deal synthetic - did I just lost a(nother) level? - orchestra that emerges armed with no less of a fervency than to capture both the cyber and the punk with its frequency. Granted, the case might be that these segments - with piano and orchestra - are inviting you into the steampunk side of things, and, since Tesla does not seem to disapprove, I will let you arrive to your own conclusions, not as if I had any other chance or intent. Dataphiles - Steampunk Cybercrunk is a mature, well thought out instrumental release that reflects a precise consensus inner imagery of orthodox cyberpunk romanticism.

Check out Dataphiles at: http://www.dataphilesmusic.com

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