Unpatterns, the latest LP from English EDM-ers Simian Mobile Disco, sneaks up on you over and over again. Nine gloriously minimal techno tracks each slowly crescendo and then collapse into the next. Even as I type this I’m rocking back and forth in my chair. I’m not sure how long I’ve been doing this.
For a while I didn’t know what to make of the recent surge in electronic music’s popularity. I had mixed emotions. As someone who had never really dug techno, I felt I’d missed the boat; then I felt it was a fad, as I read about throngs of high-schoolers OD-ing on MDMA and began seeing the term “brostep” more and more in print. But the truth is, EDM has been around long before any of those unfortunate sophomores were even a spark in their mother’s eye. And long before the word “maximalism” was ever uttered in connection with electronic music, there was a place called “Detroit in the early ’90s and Berlin in the early aughts.”
Most every track on Unpatterns begins with a simple loop. Other loops are added, subtracted, manipulated and twisted, slowly morphing, building and sliding away. Listening to Simian Mobile Disco, you can understand where the term “trance” comes from (though these guys are not technically that sub-genre).
Speaking of being entranced, the dudes from Simian Mobile Disco, James Ford and Jas Shaw, have teamed up with artist Kate Moross to put together a little iPhone/iPad app in conjunction with the new record. For $2.99, users can stream the entire album while manipulating swirly, tripped-out, custom-designed moiré patterns.
Similar to the nature of their songs on Unpatterns is the video for “Put Your Hands Together” — wherein a series of lines and colors builds and pulsates upon itself, serving as a lecture on the nature of matter itself:
Yeah, I’m getting out there, I know. But I’m sober as a bird, and if you’re anything like me, you won’t need to imbibe at all to enjoy Simian Mobile Disco’s DJ set at the Live 105 BFD After Party, June 2, at the Mezzanine. Tickets are $20. Stream the entire new album below:
Simian Mobile Disco (DJ set)
June 2, 2012