Review Summary: A soundtrack to whatever you want...
65daysofstatic have always favored experimentation above everything else. They shape shift their volatile compositions constantly, mixing multiple influences from math rock, post rock to techno, IDM or ambient music. Each LP brought something different to the table and no matter how far they ventured, they always shared a familiar sense of urgency and a dense atmosphere. Besides this, the songs usually evoke a futuristic, cinematic vibe, while standing out from most of their peers’ output. In 2016, the group decided to take things to the next level, dabbling into algorithmic music, experienced first on the excellent No Man’s Sky
game soundtrack. That was a starting point that led them to craft custom synths, generative sound scapes, live coding and even writing software to create new tunes. On the other hand, despite their minutious approach, it feels as if they have let themselves go as a unit, venturing further into the unknown.
The latest record, replicr, 2019
resides in a sonic universe named Deconstruction Theory. Built and expanded during the past couple of years, these experiments both successful and failed were given a shape and purpose in order to be digested by fans. This is the sparsest and most fragmented 65daysofstatic project, as well as the most abstract. Aside from the communique offered by the band, you get no background whatsoever. The title doesn’t give away anything and the artwork, album & track titles resemble a folder of random tunes found on a computer somewhere in a dystopian, sci-fi world if you want. It’s your job to reconstruct the plot from here and it’s your choice to take or not into consideration the group’s opinion on the music. We’re given an almost blank canvas to imagine ourselves whatever we wish. Nevertheless, after a listen, it feels as if the whole affair reminisces a film noir soundtrack.
There are 8 main tracks that borrow elements mostly from ambient, noise, glitch or post rock, surrounded by droning, industrial music-oriented interludes that Cryo Chamber would love to get their hands on. When listened to in one sitting, everything seems to just meld into one uncanny, melancholic, post-apocalyptic trip. The sentiments these tracks evoke vary significantly; for example there’s a tensed dread of some impending disaster on ‘stillstellung’, whose raspy main synth soars louder with each passing minute over tribal beats. Meanwhile, ‘bad age’ boasts a thrilling marimba-like lead, complete with pulsing kick drums and haunting chimes. We can observe a Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross vibe all over replicr, 2019
. Moreover, the droning bass and shrilling, high-pitched notes that grow steadily on ‘sister’ can accompany a murder scene in a thriller movie, whereas ‘popular beats’ toys nicely with minimal drumming and a mesmerizing collection of noisy pads. The latter might seem lazy when compared to its expansive predecessors, still, each tune here has an identity no matter how obtuse. There’s cohesion in this collection of songs, so that matters most. Comparisons are inevitable, yet looking back at how the band changed directions, fans should be open to hearing something different every time. ‘five waves’ follows, slowly unfolding to a more recognizable piece of music for those who prefer their 65daysofstatic closer to No Man’s Sky
or Wild Light
. The cosmic vibe of ‘interference_1’ displays a more optimistic tone too, as if something positive is waiting to be found. However, interludes ‘lid’ or ‘u| || | th | r| d’ gently crush that feeling, descending into darker ambient territory. Album closer, ‘trackerplatz’ delivers some of the most beautiful moments here, mixing warm bass synths with lovely, but mournful piano notes. The wailing “alarm” in the background augments the melancholy and so do the effects-soaked guitar washes towards the end. This music definitely invites polarized perspectives on its sound, so others might find the song brighter than I do.
To conclude this otherworldly journey, replicr, 2019
might be harder to get into, especially for fans who prefer the intense dynamics of earlier records. The band emphasizes considerably on ambient, drone & diffused noise and the trademark powerful, loud drumming is almost nowhere to be found here. It’s like they scrapped most of their past explorations to start anew and that’s refreshing (for some, at least) or maybe this is the end of 65daysofstatic. They seem just as puzzled regarding the future from what they posted about the entire project (could be on purpose or not). Musically, No Man’s Sky: Soundscapes
comes closest, yet there’s a darker tone and different mindset here. Despite these changes, I thoroughly enjoy the vast openness of these songs and I suggest leaving behind all preferences and expectations before delving into this universe. If interested, you can subscribe to A Year of Wreckage, to receive monthly an EP’s worth of material which amplify the experience and magnitude of this phase.