Amnesia Scanner’s third full-length album titled STROBE.RIP is a collaboration with the artist and musician Freeka Tet, who joins the album and associated live performances as a vocalist and creative collaborator.
Released by PAN, STROBE.RIP is part of a broader series of live performances, installations, videos and physical products created by the group.
Since its inception in 2014, Ville Haimala and Martti Kalliala have continued to evolve and redefine Amnesia Scanner through experimentation across online and IRL realms. This album brings them a step closer to the latter.
With French-born, New York City-based Freeka Tet on board, STROBE.RIP acquires a new array of influences that draw from the multidisciplinary artist’s hacker mindset, shaping the sound into new forms. As a programmer and technologist, Freeka Tet’s work straddles commerce and art, combining intuitive and performative modes of expression with emergent technology and creative coding. Much like Amnesia Scanner, Tet draws from online vernacular and techno-magic to create satirical, uncanny work – artificially augmented, and highly engineered sounds, textures, images and ideas that translate memes and code into a more human and affective language.
Haimala and Kalliala say, “Amnesia Scanner is now living in the world it has built,” signaling a sincere commitment to the act. The human dimension in STROBE.RIP is chaotic: a reverse hero’s journey that merges deep-fried baroque with the quasi-angelic into a psychotic megamix of tropes, lyrics, genres, and sonic palettes that are both disorienting and deeply resonant.
The opening track Tongue Demons perfectly summarizes this, with blaring synth stabs and frenetic drum patterns paving the way for a broken melody arranged through a digital brass chord progression. Giggle and Bounds follow right after: two outstanding pieces of introspection signaling the melodic turn of the album, with the latter almost posing as a weirdo 2-step ballad filled with deep pads and pitched-up and down vocals.
The 160bpm, 4-to-4 pulsing kicks of Ledge and the palm-muted chords of Disperse serve as a perfect build-up to Ride, right in the middle of the tracklist: a summer hit from hell, a crooked saxophone-graced tune carried by a crusty, Balearic acoustic arpeggio. The alt acoustics continue with Damon, or at least before the track turns from Nirvana’s Unplugged to Slayer’s double kick drum pedals and becomes thrashtronica with Tet on screamo duties.
Things get softer with Clown, specifically in the chanted refrain, and even more aetherial in the almost trip-hop timbres of abandoned.club, where chopped-and-screwed vocals sing “I lost myself in the club.” Scorpions, Bats & Spiders is the abstract gem declaring the death of Deconstructed Club Music—a genre created by journalists and pioneered by the duo, among others. The words “deconstructed,” “club,” and “panel discussion” are spelled out in a vortex throughout the track as if they were to be carved on the genre’s imaginary gravestone. Closing the album, the saw bass of Cat serves Euro-electro à la Benny Benassi’s Satisfaction, while the doomed outro Merge closes the album in a triumphant aggregation of noise and pixelated drums that render the image of a crust-punk ensemble.
Written by Amnesia Scanner
Produced by Amnesia Scanner & Freeka Tet
Mastered by Enyang Urbiks
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