Transhuman Synthwave, Electro Ex-Machina Not to be confused with the hit film of last year, Ex-Machina is the solo project of 80s and retro/synthwave and electro enthusiast Dan Kenyon. VHS tapes, soundtracks from the 70s and 80s, and the utter nostalgia that current acts such as Kavinsky and Perturbator bring forth can all be used to describe Kenyon's works. His success as an independent artist has not gone unknown, as "Transhuman" is his sequel to 2104's "Dystopian Dreams" and it features a slew of talent. VHS GLITCH, KALAX, The Grind Theory, OGRE,  and Lucy Black all participate on this nine track album and where they appear they hit hard. Mixing up with KALAX on the second track, 'Silencer (No Remorse, No Regret)' comes off as a bad-boy track. I could imagine a cops and robbers chase going on in a retro-futuristic world, only the law abiding officers have no idea who or - more appropriately - what they're up against. OGRE gives out a punchier touch with his hand in 'Malicious Hardware', while VHS GLITCH mixes it up with Ex-Machina by producing an electric guitar riddled smooth track that is quite astonishing. However, out of all the songs that feature a guest, I'd say that the title track caught my attention the most. This eight minute ballad cranks out a powerful rhythm produced by Ex-Machina, while The Grind Theory provides amazing vocal work in the second half of the song. Not only that, but I believe Lucy Black chimes in with her voice portraying the character Vanguard in the intro, wherein she gives out a speech as this robot in an almost 'Blade Runner' like fashion. Now, this leads me into Ex-Machina's production skills on his own. To put it bluntly, this man can roll with already established synthwave and retrowave acts with ease. His sound is crisp, his tunes are fitting, and he knows how to keep newcomers and has-been fans coming back for more with his 80s atmospheres. From the cinematic intro of 'Transcendence from the Flesh' to the crunchy synth addicted 'Full Combat Chassis', Ex-Machina is not one to be trifled with. The last thing I would like to point out is that the cover art is terrific. It shows off who I believe to be Vanguard going forth on whatever mission it was assigned - and I do say "it" as Vanguard seems to be a machine. Whether or not if it is just that or something much more is up to interpretation. Nonetheless, the artwork was done by Sam Todhunter, so cheers to this fine gentleman. So, to end this off shortly, if you haven't heard of Ex-Machina now you have. Stop reading this. Go listen to his music and let it guide you to a whole new world where Dystopian ideals are hidden behind Utopian propaganda.  450
Brutal Resonance

Ex-Machina - Transhuman

7.5
"Good"
N/A
Electroracle
Released 2016 by Werkstatt Recordings
Not to be confused with the hit film of last year, Ex-Machina is the solo project of 80s and retro/synthwave and electro enthusiast Dan Kenyon. VHS tapes, soundtracks from the 70s and 80s, and the utter nostalgia that current acts such as Kavinsky and Perturbator bring forth can all be used to describe Kenyon's works. His success as an independent artist has not gone unknown, as "Transhuman" is his sequel to 2104's "Dystopian Dreams" and it features a slew of talent. 

VHS GLITCH, KALAX, The Grind Theory, OGRE,  and Lucy Black all participate on this nine track album and where they appear they hit hard. Mixing up with KALAX on the second track, 'Silencer (No Remorse, No Regret)' comes off as a bad-boy track. I could imagine a cops and robbers chase going on in a retro-futuristic world, only the law abiding officers have no idea who or - more appropriately - what they're up against. OGRE gives out a punchier touch with his hand in 'Malicious Hardware', while VHS GLITCH mixes it up with Ex-Machina by producing an electric guitar riddled smooth track that is quite astonishing. 

However, out of all the songs that feature a guest, I'd say that the title track caught my attention the most. This eight minute ballad cranks out a powerful rhythm produced by Ex-Machina, while The Grind Theory provides amazing vocal work in the second half of the song. Not only that, but I believe Lucy Black chimes in with her voice portraying the character Vanguard in the intro, wherein she gives out a speech as this robot in an almost 'Blade Runner' like fashion. 

Now, this leads me into Ex-Machina's production skills on his own. To put it bluntly, this man can roll with already established synthwave and retrowave acts with ease. His sound is crisp, his tunes are fitting, and he knows how to keep newcomers and has-been fans coming back for more with his 80s atmospheres. From the cinematic intro of 'Transcendence from the Flesh' to the crunchy synth addicted 'Full Combat Chassis', Ex-Machina is not one to be trifled with. 

The last thing I would like to point out is that the cover art is terrific. It shows off who I believe to be Vanguard going forth on whatever mission it was assigned - and I do say "it" as Vanguard seems to be a machine. Whether or not if it is just that or something much more is up to interpretation. Nonetheless, the artwork was done by Sam Todhunter, so cheers to this fine gentleman. 

So, to end this off shortly, if you haven't heard of Ex-Machina now you have. Stop reading this. Go listen to his music and let it guide you to a whole new world where Dystopian ideals are hidden behind Utopian propaganda. 
Jan 18 2016

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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