beats electro rock electronica Experimental review synth synth rock vocoder

Macula Dog – Orange 2 Review

The strangest album you'll attempt to dance to in 2022.

What does Macula Dog sound like?

Warped experimental shuffle electronica with perverse vocoder skills.

The review Macula Dog – Orange 2

It is very difficult to describe Macula Dog without putting ‘they’re absolutely nuts’. They are – in a genius way. Macula Dog’s sophomore album ‘Orange 2’ is a highly experimental electronica album that smashes chiptune and rave pop sensibilities into a blender with a punk vocoder and a tape-warping machine. It is unhinged in the best possible way but it’s certainly not an easy ride.

Macula Dog

Most of the tracks on ‘Orange 2’ follow a certain stop/start shuffle spasm energy. For example ‘Plastic Wrap’ has short explosions of kick drums then shuffle white noise and then twisted synths. The vocals are twisted and distorted in a glitchy way over top. Everything is slightly detuned but it makes rhythmic sense. Other tracks like ‘I Love It’ and ‘Neosporin’ play on odd two or four chord structures that evoke a questioning destabilisation sound. Imagine a robot making an ‘I don’t understand’ noise and then glitch it up into a dizzying circus dance and you are part way there. I feel like I’m in a maddening waltz with a mad hatter and no sound can be trusted.

This discordant, unsure inching forward is trademark Macula Dog. The overall sound palette is like synth slinkies time stretching and then poofing into squashy white noise clouds. Playful and childlike but off-kilter and sinister at times with a punkish vocoder – it sounds entirely unique from anything else I’ve ever owned musically. I feel like my Sega Mega Drive is on LCD and having an existential crisis. I love it.

‘Orange 2’ is as niche as anything I’ve recommended so strongly but I think there is a universal glee for experimentation that might appeal to a broader audience. Chiptune and glitchpop fans will love Macula Dog’s sound design. Bjork fans will love the “is this a chord pattern I’ve ever heard before?” songwriting. Electronica fans will likely love it when tracks like ‘Smart Man Do’, ‘Spun’ and ‘Deforest For’ go hard for a bouncy beat. Fans of Fever Ray might enjoy some of the androgynous robot voice work. If you like experimentation – give Macula Dog a go. Preferably with a drink in hand. We all need a bit of silly cyber freak in our life. Macula Dog does it like no other.

Recommended track: I Love It

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