The beauty of a 65daysofstatic album is that each one feels like it has redesigned the DNA of the band from its core. Each one takes a different approach whilst still feeling like its part of the same world. ‘replicr, 2019’ belongs to the same pantheon of awesomeness that all 65daysofstatic albums herald from and it wields plenty of surprises and a story of its own.
This time around the instrumental rockers from Sheffield have plugged into the everyday noise of modern life. From the outset of ‘pretext’ and ‘stillstellung’ the vicious drones of pure noise steams ahead at full charge. It is buzzing, alive, burning like wildfire and marching forward like a mathematical bulldozer. The guitars embellish this attack like wailing cries of modern-day architecture and that pulls forward to the industrial grinds of ‘d|| tl | | |’.
However, the bright-eyed optimism and euphoria of previous albums are well and truly submerged in murky waters. ‘Bad Age’ is beautifully unsure of itself, sounding equal parts synth-noire detective soundtrack and post-apocalyptic. ‘Sister’ has mechanical synth heart pulses for drones and the synth work has a damaged effect on it that feels ice cold and malevolent. ‘popular beats’ refuses to keep to a regular time signature, flicking offbeat as if even the song itself is either stumbling over itself or wanting to stay a beat ahead of the bar. When paired with its bubbling cloud of death synths, it is an effective mood. ‘five waves’ is a fever dream of driving drums, raving synths and electric guitar anthems smashing together. It has such a driving force to it, it would pair perfectly with any timelapse photography of the Western world in full flow.
65daysofstatic also take it upon themselves to wallow in the slow-motion moments of life. The majestic ‘interference_1’ is industrial ambience stretched into a drone-like timepiece. For the final third the track then disrupts itself feeling every part the neon cyberpunk hero anthem it wants to be. Also on the down-low initially is ‘z03’. The percussion on the track is insane as the cymbal noises trickle like they are spilling over and gathering momentum as they fall. It is paired with some beautifully angelic synth work before the huge bass and angular synths burst in and it told a very specific story to me. The track feels like how my mind acts when I try to be still and quiet in a modern world. The cymbals are fluttering distractions trying to pull me away to make money for the man or act in a certain way and then when the track gets serious and bold, its as if I’ve been taken over with the war of everyday way of modern living. The tracks either side ‘lid’ and ‘u| || | th | r| d ‘ also feel like numbing distractions too. This all comes together beautifully for the final track ‘trackerplatz’. It is the most melodic, reflective and controlled song of the album. It feels hopeful in a way as the guitars, beats and synths work together to elevate up the chords and the guitars work as a roar for survival – a lone voice surging on.
I’ve read that 65daysofstatic approached ‘replica, 2019’ differently, building their own synths and working with algorithms. This helped to express themselves in new ways having worked on ‘No Mans Sky’ where, as is often the case in game music currently, you have to write transitions and melodies to react mathematically to the players’ surroundings. I find that fascinating but for me, I went on a very personal journey listening to the album. I felt grimy with today’s life. I felt like my London commute had left me battle-scarred and that ‘replica, 2019’ captured my everyday war just to stay above water, whilst looking around seeing thousands of others doing the same. Depressingly bleak yet cathartically emotional, this album just clicked. A superbly alien personal journey.
Recommended track: stillstellung
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