The digital age is properly upon us now, with smartphone being more prominent than the usual mobile and everybody yearning after netbooks and iPads. Such a huge shift in popular culture could hardily be ignored by art, and there’s been a lot of reflection upon this by musicians around the world. Indeed, the whole process of recording has been transformed thanks to the availability of cheap equipment and even built in microphones on laptops can now be enough for you to get a couple of hundred fans on MySpace, given the right songs. One of the more interesting developments has been the move back towards more industrial music, the likes of which first appeared in pop music back in post punk and harking back to musique concrete. However, the brutal music that the likes of Cold Cave, Former Ghosts and especially HEALTH make is so modern by virtue of the technology that is central to the way each makes music.
This unique model of co-dependance – both using a machine and imitating the noises of one – is one that Czech artist Table is especially keen to utilise. Armed with a synth, the duo created the album ‘We are no longer the same’ and has proceeded to give it away. Miraculously, it not only has the peculiar sound that Former Ghosts mastered in Fleurs, but, in parts, also bizarrely matches it. The vocals are haunting, sounding trapped in this digital cage constructed around it, taking advantage of every glitch and each synthetic piano note to highlight the acute loneliness inherent in Table’s voice. Likenesses to Freddy Ruppert’s works under the This song is a mess but so am I name is probably more apt, given the absence of anything like the Nika upon any of the track, but there’s also a definite hint of Xiu Xiu in many of the tracks fuzzy cyber-breakdowns.
However, to simple view this in the context of other works would be to overlook what an supremely talented accomplishment this is – seemingly detached from the kind of scene that would breed this kind of noise, Table has excelled. Whilst there are countless singer songwriters who are more than happy to spill their heart, there are very few that can come to the heartbreaking, isolated qualities strung oput throughout 26 minutes on ‘We are no longer the same’. It sounds like a technological apocalypse being mourning by a man in a cold abandoned building in eastern Europe, and it’s absolutely glorious. There aren’t going to be many records better this year that you can download for free with a clear conscience.
TABLE – CLARK KENT
TABLE – WE ARE NO LONGER THE SAME
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