Amnesia Scanner

(Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Another Life (2018), 6.5/10
Lexachast (2019), 6/10
Tearless (2020), 6.5/10

Amnesia Scanner, the Berlin-based duo of Finnish djs Ville Haimala and Martti Kalliala, debuted with the mixtape AS Live (2014) and the EPs Angels Rig Hook (2015), containing a 14-minute ecologically-themed radio play, i.e. narration and collage, and Cyber Monday (2015), followed by the singles AS Chingy (chopped-up vocals over booming disjointed beats), AS Crust (a childish rigmarole over glitchy liquid pulses) and AS Truth in 2016. The six-song EP AS (2016) contains both AS Chingy and AS Crust. The singer was a machine called Oracle.

After more singles (AS MEE in 2017; AS Chaos, AS A.W.O.L., and AS Too Wrong in 2018), their first album Another Life (2018) established them at the vanguard of the movement to deconstruct and derail dance-music, continuing the tradition of Mika Vainio and Arca's Xen with the harsh and violent punk-industrial explosions of AS Symmetribal, AS Unlinear and AS Faceless, emanating evil vibrations from their handicapped beats and subhuman vocals. The album also has its cartoonish side: the industrial dubstep of AS A.W.O.L. (with grotesquely distorted vocals), the sulfuric disco of AS Another Life, the cartoonish deranged hip-hop merry-go-round AS Too Wrong. Only AS Securitaz betrays some human emotion.

The audiovisual project Lexachast (2019) with Bill Kouligas (owner of the label that put out their albums) and and visual artist Harm van den Dorpel, originally performed in 2015 in London but later expanded, Its nine movements carry out a less savage attack on the dancefloor. They perform a less deadly kind of surgery. This is mostly abstract soundpainting and musique concrete. Most of the pieces are ghostly and skeletal (especially Lexachast 2). The notable exception is the chant of Lexachast 4 that relies on minimalist repetition and orchestral bombast.

The ecological concept album Tearless (2020) moved away from their dance roots towards more conventional ballads. Two vocalists (Peruvian singer Lalita and Brazilian producer Lyzza) join Oracle to sing them. If AS Tearless and AS Aca can be said to create a new form of abrasive post-pop, with melodies that are unceremoniously massacred by dissonance, AS Too Late retains the melody (and the human voice) at the center and AS U Will Be Fine even intones a childish singalong. The hyper-psychedelic As Flat, the robotic and horror trap music of AS Trouble, and the industrial-metal overtones of AS Labyrinth expand their horizons dramatically.

(Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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