6 September 2014

The Algorithm - Octopus4


As you know, I like to take recommendations on this blog from time to time.  Otherwise it would get a little boring and no matter whom the band is or what my feelings are towards them, it at least makes it a bit more varied on here.  This was another recommendation from one of the Seventh Tower mob; basically nine times out of ten these guys guide me to something brilliant.  One time out of ten, it is something like Modern Baseball (cleverly linked here). I have a feeling that this band are going to be slightly different from that, for one thing it is a French based Electronic/Metal/DJent project.  The Algorithm (aka Rémi Gallego) is a  project with was created in 2009 after the ending of Gallego's previous act - Dying Breath.  He wanted to make a project in the style of Dillinger Escape Plan.  Since then, it has become something else; the band took a more electronic element and since then the band has apparently being going from strength to strength.  This is the second album which was released this year, so how does it sound?

Starting off with "autorun", after a brief vocal sample, a rumbling bass in set in motion and with off kilt kicks and a repetitive hi-hat, the keys start to merge into the song and slowly but surely you are brought into the world of The Algorithm.  It drifts from left to right in terms of sound and it is very deceptive to the listener.  Coming across in places like Jean Michel Jarre and then dropping a riff that would have most death metal fans drooling into their beards you have a very welcome cross over project going on.  "discovery" is the second song on this album, it is a little bit more light in places that "autorun", but when that bass drops and the riff (even if it is electronic, it sounds like a guitar riff) it makes the beginning of the song drift away as if it was a dream that turned into a nightmare, but in a good way.  Next is the sub two minutes track called "_MOS", it is over far too soon for my taste, but it is another great show of what electronic music can do; also it sounds like one of those 80's game soundtracks which is another reason it is not just an interlude song.  Next is a song for which Gallego is getting some press, it is called "will_smith".  He has been asked, why Will Smith; to which he replies, why not?  He has also noted on his Facebook page that it is a question that he is beginning to dislike.  Now, it was the first track name that got my attention in here, obviously due to the Hollyweird personality of the first name.  But then I heard the track, by deity I heard the track and it is some of the most aggressive noise that I have heard from an electronic artist outside of Aphex Twin and Robert Logan.  It is the stand out track of the album; it slays the rest of the record and will probably haunt The Algorithm for years to come.

After this we have "ピタゴラスPYTHAGORAS", which as a track takes the album down a notch noise wise to begin with, then comes the Dillinger Escape Plan mentality.  It starts off slow, which is good as you don't want to peak that early, then the noise builds and soon it is a thousand beats per minute and the harsh sound is back again.  It is a good song and does a great job of following on from "will_smith" whilst not trying to beat it. Then we have "synthesiz3r" which continues the solid foundation that has been laid during this album.  It does not let the listener rest, by the end of the song the noise is so low end it rattles the very bones of the listener; I can only relate it to some of the darker moments of Sunn 0))) when I saw them live, but obviously a little faster.  "damaged points" is the seventh song on the album and by this point you are beginning to know what is coming.  This song is more along the Aphex Twin lines of things with harsh turns in the notes and a strange sort of rhythm that makes you want to dance whilst not being able to dance to the music at all; the drum pattern and time signatures are quite random and well placed.  "void" follows on and starts with the sound I would associate with an abyss.  It starts with a swirling, drifting noise that lets the listener float in the own thoughts and absorb themselves into the music. It doesn't go anywhere from this sort of moment and brings the mood of the record down a bit as well,  but as it had been full-throttle electronic cyber attack you can forgive them for it.

"loading" is next and this song two starts off slowly, but building up to another slice of industrial noise.  It is not as fast paced as the starting might have suggested, it is also not quite as good as some of the tracks that have gone beforehand.  It has all the right noises and sounds like you are being bombarded in places, but when it drops down a gear it doesn't really get back into the game.  "un dernier combat" is much better, coming across are part drum & bass, part dubstep, part electronica and all crazy! It is also the first song on the album to have any vocals on it, as there is a rap in French.  It has a brilliant harsh attack noise after the rap which sounds like buildings being destroyed by machines.   "recovery fail!" is the penultimate song of the album and in its relatively short time frame, it does what "_MOS" before; it sounds like it could be from a computer game (or at least the adverts).  It is over too soon again for my liking, but this is a personal thing.  Ending the track is the title track "octopus4" which is the longest song on the album, for the first six and a half minutes or so it just brings all the harsh noise that has been building for the most of the album; however after that the ending of the album as part of the track is some sort of strange lounge music.  It has a jarring effect on the album and ends on an unsettling note; obviously it is designed to contrast against the first part of the song, but it does end it strangely.

Now, what is the verdict?  Well, to be honest I am still trying to make up my mind about it as I have all those weeks ago when I first heard it.  It has some really harsh noise and breaks that I love in this type of music; it is also very confrontational and aggressive.  However, if I was to look for bad points it is also a little too samey in a few places for it to be an instant classic.  Also, that ending really jars the ending of the record as it could have been a colossal explosion of noise; instead we have elevator music. But those two small things aside, I would actually recommend this to anyone with an interest in this type of music.

7.5 out of ten - This is good and well worth a check

Top track - will_smith

You can purchase the album from Amazon here

There is no Algorithm website, but here is a link for the Facebook page (it also has links to all the other pages such as twitter, etc)

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

For our Deezer users, here is a link for you

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