Imminent/Synapscape – The Humanoid Problem (2017)
Everything about this release instantly grabbed my attention; it being the long-awaited reunion of industrial artists Imminent Starvation and Synapscape, being released by the inimitable Ant-Zen, the fantastic cover art and the title of course, The Humanoid Problem. I could write a dissertation or 10 on how human beings are a ‘problem’……however, let us not digress. Both Imminent Starvation and Synapscape are highly reputable artists in their own right, each with their individual take on cold, rhythmic industrial music. Collaboratively, they manage to create something unique, a sound apart from their parent projects.
There’s no doubt this is intense and heavy music, but there’s a subtle level of accessibility behind the complex rhythms, created by means of intelligent beats, creative synth lines and diverse sound design, that elevates this album beyond the norm. The Humanoid Problem is a brilliant album – almost using structured beats to convey emotions and tell a story. There’s an intelligence that constructs the album and guides the listener through an experience built around rhythmic power and imaginative ‘noise’.
While the album doesn’t annihilate you directly from the start with a relentless and unforgiving wall of noise, it does provide a decent pummeling with the intricately programmed beats and synths of “Continental Time Lapse” – timing and placement of restraint is a skilful art in itself. There’s an element of industrial techno and IDM permeating through ”Xylo Renewal”, a track with significant dancefloor potential for sure. The climatic drum attack on “Short Circuit in Dystopia” is quite something to behold – simply giant in sound, this is Imminent/Synapscape in attack mode. Conversely, the eloquent darkness of “Neo Dream” is breathtakingly beautiful. And then again, the drum barrage of “The Londonum Chase” is gloriously aggressive, a pristine example of industrial.
There’s an ominous tone creeping through “Valley of the Bots”, almost as if you’re actually in a sci-fi film, on a mission to survive a valley escape while under constant threat from the bots. The complex “The Society of Lost Androids” starts relatively restrained before layer after layer of electronic deviance is added until the track morphs into a dense, cacophonous onslaught of beats, synths and noise. Its a level of creativity other artists would spend an entire album attempting to achieve, yet the trio of Imminent/Synapscape can achieve it in one song – and multiple times across the same album. The vitriolic attack of “Virtual Retaliation” is immense; huge beats and a nicely distorted synth line working to annihilate the eardrums. Astonishingly good.
The Humanoid Problem is a solid industrial album that could open the genre of rhythmic noise to a much wider audience. Get on this.