The Pyramid - Robots & Computers
The Pyramid is artist Jorge Valverde, an electronic artist and synth enthusiast. Though his very, very detailed bio gives an essay on his thoughts and philosophies on creating music, I can attempt to squelch the four-page paper into a couple of sentences. Valverde, since he was a child, is fascinated by the Egyptian pyramids as well as who built them and the mysticism and myths surrounding them. He has been carrying that name around for the longest time since the 90s, and decided that the way to create based off those mysteries was by calling his act The Pyramid. As far as I can see from Valverde’s Bandcamp page for The Pyramid, his first was release “HAL 9000” was put out on January 10th, 2009. A ten-year gap is in between that album and his follow-up “Synthetic”. Following the single ‘Like a Robot’, The Pyramid has released their 2021 album “Robots & Computers”.
“Robots & Computers” is a science-fiction influenced album made up both original compositions and songs that are based off of other mediums, such as Battlestar Galactica, WarGames, Tron, etc. The introductory song gives a good glimpse at what Valverde can accomplish under The Pyramid. From the get go, it’s notable that his production is crisp and clean. Everything is solid, synths are mixed well, and the album has been mastered by a professional (AKA, Valverde himself). What we’re given then, is an incredible space-dance track with retro vibes all about. Digitized vocals sing along the track, and every time I played this song I could imagine a movie in my head. A movie with two robots at command deck of a ship, bouncing in jolly fashion to this beat while flying through space on an adventure to save their planet. Good stuff.
Two of his other original compositions, ‘Like a Robot’ and ‘E.N.I.A.C.’ play in similar manner, harking back to epic space adventures while maintaining a fun beat. I preferred ‘E.N.I.A.C’ out of the two, simply for its more relaxed rhythm. Rather than being up front and pounding, it is a good mid-album song that breaks up the repetition. That being said, fans of video games and retro-computers are likely to fall in love with ‘Commodore VIC-20’. It’s a wicked track that utilizes sounds primarily attributed to the chiptune scene. However, mixed with The Pyramid’s wicked synths and soft pads made it a stand out track on the album.
Thus the original compositions ended and I dived into the songs that were influenced by other films. The first of which that appears on the album is ‘Nexus 6 (from Blade Runner)’. While the track is unable to capture the essence of Vangelis’ legendary soundtrack (no offense, Valverde, but that’s a tough one to beat), The Pyramid slowed down pace for this song. Atmospheric beats replaced the dance vibes I gathered from the other tracks thus far and I was left in good hands. I was also a fan of ‘Cylons (from Battlestar Galactica)’, which ditched any pretense of dance music and went for a more exploratory sound of space.
I was not a huge fan of ‘MU-TH-UR 6000 (from Alien)’. I felt as if the track was way too bright and happy for a song that was influenced by one of the greatest science-fiction / horror films of all time. It missed the very essence of what made Alien, well, Alien. This more or less makes it seem as if the USCSS Nostromo had a pretty good flight and nothing wrong really happened. I felt the same way about ‘Skynet (from the Terminator)’, which once again takes an all too bright tone for the otherwise action riddled film. It just doesn’t make much sense for a song about a robot attempting to kill a boy to be so bumpy. This is not to say that the songs are bad (the beats are decent enough), I just couldn’t get into them due to the source material they’re based on.
I would also like to state that I have not seen Forbidden Planet, Metropolis, WarGames, Ulises 31, Tron, nor have I ever been much into Kraftwerk, so I can’t speak so much on how well these songs represent those movies or that electronic group. I can say, however, that I did enjoy the songs for what they were.
Nonetheless, coming to the end of the album, I am pleasantly surprised with what The Pyramid was able to do. Whenever I hear or see the synthwave tag added to any album, I usually get a bit nervous thinking that it’s going to be another clone in the oversaturated genre. However, The Pyramid has proven to be much more than that. Foregoing the standard, he brings a mix of techno, synthwave, and synthpop to his mix all with a clean sound. Aside from a few minor complaints, “Robots & Computers” is solid. Seven-and-a-half out of ten! Bravo!
This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.Mar 29 2021
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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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