Richard Fearless` new record, for his own imprint, Drone, is appropriately rooted in resonance and sustain. Titled Future Rave Memory, it`s suite of industrial, metallic, buzz and hum, and is a deceptively textured work – dense with detail, that’s revealed upon deep listening. It`s an “ambient” album, meditative, psychedelic, and healing even, but it isn’t an idealized deserted shoreline of the mind, or a dive with friendly dolphins. Instead it`s ultra urban. A hazy, haunted, hallucination of empty, disused, warehouses and factories, rust and decay. This isn’t a traditional new age inner space float.
To a certain extent defined by a thunderous, irregular bottom-end – more a menacing force, an electrical shit storm approaching and passing, than a distinct b-line – across the six pieces melody continually attempts to cut in. To break through the synthesized gates, and phasing effects. To be heard within the fog of frequencies, tape hiss, and analogue hardware bleed. Like encrypted, secret, signals hidden within the coursing currents of code. Scurrying, scratching, serrated. Distorted and disintegrating. Fragmented and fragile. Subliminal whispers of perhaps pedal steel poetry, and broken clockwork. Rising to discordant fanfares, angular alien tunings, that tap into something ancient, ancestral. Thigh bone trumpet-like in tone.
While largely beatless, in places the music races. Its locked loops spinning in relentless, overlapping elliptical orbits. Its sinewy, cycling, sequences colliding with TB-303 echoes, and spectral techno strings. These orchestrations of occult oscillations generating an overall ominous air. One of future machines driving, ruling, silicon cities that never sleep. The resulting smog darkened skies. The sound is cinematic and Sci-Fi, describing a dystopia that might only be minutes away, where reference points are the more obsidian moments of Cliff Martinez’s Solaris score, and, of course, Vangelis` Blade Runner.
As its name suggests, the album could be considered a requiem for a world that once danced – in abandon, foolish, and carefree. Either ignorant of, or turning a high, blind, eye to, concerns such as disappearing resources, increasing pollution, and omnipresent corporate and political corruption. The closing, epic, Our Acid House, consolidates this concept, starting serene, and symphonic, before being consumed by a wall of white noise – a great gothic cathartic construction of accumulated error, glitch, and crackle, a firmament of fizzing feedback that flickers like over-amplified VHS video nasty static. Where any drums, rave`s rebellious repetitive rhythms, are way off in the distance, far removed.
Richard Fearless` Future Rave Memory is released this Friday, November 5th, on Drone.