Review Summary: Is quality inversely proportional to popularity?
Presumably you haven't heard about this group, albeit the fact that their debut EP is being released under the record label OWSLA, which is founded by Skrillex, an electronic musician you've surely heard of. Yet the abovesaid's music is popular but its quality is debatable, that's not the occasion here, quite the contrary.
Listening to the popular electronic tracks these days may give the listener an impression that all has been done, and that there would be no room for originality in the genre of "electronic" music anymore. Once in a while, however, there are acts that prove that a wonderland of delight awaits those who are ready to take their time and explore the ample supply of electronic music.
The opening track of the EP, Immigrants, gives the listener a brief look at what to expect of the EP as a whole.
Its hard-hitting beats coexisting alongside synths that remind the listener of the early sci-fi movies released century or two ago, it succeeds to stand out in the crowd, which is not an achievement to be taken lightly these days. It's something out of the ordinary, and to be honest I've never heard anything quite like it.
"Deep Search" is the song that follows up the opener, and is nothing quite like it. The 6/8 signature is in great use, which is
rare in EDM outside of the "drop", and its hypnotic bassline is truly intriguing. However the real peculiarity is to be found elsewhere, the beautiful, nearly ethereal breakdown is what really draws the listener's attention.
The next two songs include vocals that are both distinguished and interesting. The vocalist in A King Alone sounds nearly robotic even without vocoders, singing about his kingdom in which he alone resides and controls everything inside it. It's a pretty and light song, and it's welcome after two a bit heavier songs. Faces is a very indiey synth pop song whose vocals are the most interesting amidst Metropolis Pt. 1. The characteristic voice along with the synths creates an atmosphere that is hard to describe, making it one of the highlights of the EP.
The following song, Black, is an industrial sounding, heavy-punching song that in its aggression is a very interesting piece. It starts with sounds of some machinery moving, and then proceeds with the hard-hitting synth and bassline that's similar to immigrants. It also includes the apparent trademark of The M Machine, the cinematic break that's already been heard on Deep Search. However it doesn't sound if it's just recycling the same sound over, its little tweaks and subtleties make it sound fresh and new, it's an important part of the track.
The song concluding the EP, Shadow In The Rose Garden, is in my opinion also the weakest piece on it. It's a remix of their
earlier released "Promise Me A Rose Garden", and it includes dnb-oriented sounds put together with dubstep. The emphasis on synths is so big that it makes listening to it not very comfortable. The vocals were also better carried out on the original mix, here they sound a little too distorted.
Despite the fact that I didn't enjoy the last track, the album is excellent and I struggle at finding points to criticize. Distinctive characteristics permeate throughout the EP, The M Machine's debut shows a lot of promise. While the EDM scene is seemingly on its intent of going the predictable and boring way that it's been going for a while, The M Machine takes an alternative route of originality and great song-writing.
Metropolis Pt. 1 gives a new understanding of where we've been, and a new sense of wonder at where we'll go next.