If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that there’s little I love more than organic and synthetic textures coming together into one seamless fusion. One example I bring up often is the 2015 Holly Herndon record, as she mixes sounds from household objects and human voice with ultra-digitized computer electronics, making for an overwhelming and uncanny listening experience. Another more recent example would be the Jacaszek album from last year, KWIATY, which featured vocalists navigating a decaying landscape of broken electronics and spectral dust, eventually yielding to the decrepit landscape and merging like ghosts into the fog.
We find a very similar meld happening on the upcoming Simian Mobile Disco record, Murmurations, out May 11 via Wichita, only to a much larger scale. The duo collaborated with vocal group Deep Throat Choir for this album, fusing the group’s complex layers of voice with their own pulsating electronics and murky percussion to make a dynamic, amorphous web of sound that the listener can get easily lost in. The power of propulsive electronics that SMD bring to the table, taking the choral group out of their traditional setting and into some sort of space-time black hole where cosmic energy careens all around the listener, creates an auditory experience like nothing else I’ve ever heard.
“Defender”, the one you can listen to here, is my favorite out of the first few singles from the record. It blurs the lines between the two entities best, with vocal lines shifting and skittering in conjunction with the production, along with accompanying synthesizers mimicking the timbres of the singers. These two voices occasionally come together, making for a really cool mirror effect. It also has a lot of elements that help push the whole thing along a high-speed track, like booming timpanis, a forceful, memorable melody, and epic dissonance amongst verses. I think that blurring between human and computer is definitely the point behind this project and SMD & DTC execute it brilliantly.
DISCLAIMER – I am promoting this album to college radio stations. I am biased in my take of this album. This makes it no less incredible though, so you should listen/buy when its released. Find more about the record HERE.