More wonderous musical marriages from Remi Gallego's The Algorithm
After the sheer excitement provoked by 2012’s genre-mashing, mind-bending Polymorphic Code, The Algorithm’s next step was always going to be an intensely interesting one. The brainchild of Remi Gallego (with additional drums from Monuments’ Mike Malyan), that debut was a magnificent assault on the sense, fusing thudding polyrhythms, metallic guitars, dance, dub step, electro and almost every other genre inbetween. Two years on, and it’s comforting to hear that even one of modern music’s great innovators doesn’t feel the need to stand still, with newly-released OCTOPUS4 another glorious, absorbing din. The evidence that this is no mere retread of its predecessor is almost instant, with the slow-building intensity of autoRun more reliant on electronic accompaniment than scything riffs. Indeed, the sheer range on offer in the first three tracks alone is cause enough for celebration; aforementioned autoRun builds to a devastating, throbbing pulse, discovery begins like a quirky 80s exercise video before launching into a double-bass splattered metallic burst and the quite spectacular _MOS is a pure slice of bouncy, excitable chiptune glory, sounding like an outtake from Sega’s Streets of Rage series. http://youtu.be/bq7RJrHpwfI This doesn’t cease throughout OCTOPUS4’s duration; it constantly surprises, twists and turns across its twelve tracks. The metallic influences that helped to shape Polymorhpic Code are still there, but durations and flourishes have been restricted, leaving behind a purer slice of varied electronic music. That’s no hardship, as there’s plenty to get your teeth into here; the spritely trance of recovery fail! or the pounding assault of the closing title track (which ends with a delightful and delicious spurt of acid jazz, of course) are quite difficult to dislike. Thing is Gallego has already earned the right to do whatever the hell he pleases as early as his second record; this sophomore effort could start with one three minute-long throbbing bass line and it wouldn’t matter. The Frenchman is one of a rare breed of musicians who create a noise so identifiable and unique that it’s impossible not to be swept along with the tide. Few could get away with closing a track like synthesiz3r with a cheesy dance/r ‘n b influenced line like “I’m never gonna change the way I feel about you” and follow it up with a metallic breakdown replete with a guttural growl, but, as you might have already surmised having clicked on the video that accompanies this review, The Algorithm are something a little bit special. 8/10 OCTOPUS4 is out now on Basick Records.