(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Doppler Effect (2009), 6/10
Polymorphic Code (2012), 7/10
Octopus4 (2014), 6/10
Brute Force (2016), 6.5/10
Compiler Optimization Techniques (2018), 6/10

Algorithm, which is really just Remi Gallego and a drummer, borrowed from heavy metal and post-rock for the electronic dance music of Doppler Effect (2009) and Polymorphic Code (2012). Their instrumentals rarely settle into a stable format. The latter was the mature expression of his aesthetic. Handshake begins in the vein of chaotic digital hardcore, like a jam between Atari Teenage Riot and Morton Subotnick, but then turns to a steady beat that is almost disappointing. The harrowing industrial neurosis of Null decays into a graceful and quasi neoclassical bouncing polyrythm. Stormy instinct and propulsive instinct coexist in Bouncing Dot yielding a narrative and cinematic effect, only to be wiped out by the thundering and circular second half, that sounds like Bach on speed. The multi-layered machine-gun beat of Trojans ejects metal riffs and fluttering electronic arpeggios, but then takes off as a pounding disco-metal locomotive that keeps setting new records of frenzy. You'd think that Access Granted is just a hysterical concentrate of distortion and violence, but, when you least expect it, it morphs into lazy dub music, and then you sense that, sooner or later, it will return to manic hysteria. The first half of Warp Gate Exploit manages to evoke vintage electronica of the synth-pop era and prog-rock melodrama of the 1970s despite the relentless beat-machine. The twelve-minute Panic is Gallego's attempt at updating Giorgio Moroder's metronomic suites to the explosive beats of the new century. The only limitation of Gallego's music is that many pieces seem to wander not because of design but because of lack of inspiration. Where (and while) it works, however, his music is dynamite.

Less violent and more hypnotic, even pensive, Octopus4 (2014) steered towards a robotic deconstruction of the pop song: melodic (Discovery), even hummable (Synthesiz3r), even gentle and classical (Void), even too facile (Recovery Fail). The theatrical techno of Pythagoras is therefore a hybrid of the first album's cinematic exuberance and of a more balanced humanity. In Damage Points the human spirit tries to reassemble what the mechanical spirit has disassembled. This time the long piece is the most important one: the nine-minute Octopus4 seals the industrial-metal-dance music that the first album inaugurated (despite a lame lounge-ish ending).

Brute Force (2016) is a formally baroque continuation of Gallego's techno-metal project. Designed for non-stop dancing, the songs segue into each other, stitched together, with no clear boundary. The album is one long fantasia. Boot and Floating Point constitute a symphonic and frenzied overture that, at peak fervor, becomes a Bach toccata played at triple speed or a hyper-kinetic videogame soundtrack, except for declining into a languid blues-rock guitar jam. Disorganized machine-gun drumming introduced the first human element, an electronic melody that grows more and more melodramatic (Pointers and Brute Force). A robotic, Kraftwerk-esque element collides with requiem-like drones in Userspace, the emotional standout. The thundering bacchanal of the beginning resumes in Shellcode, following by the cosmic dance of Hex, another melodic interlude, and then by the most devastating heavy-metal eruption, Deadlock, followed in turn by the wildest thumping house beat, Rootkit. As a whole, this is a good, if not revolutionary, journey into Gallego's aethetic.

Compiler Optimization Techniques (2018) is an album of lengthy, multi-faceted, meticulously arranged, progressive suites with a more polished sound that ever, something like a cross between Meshuggah and Todd Rundgren's Utopia. The eleven-minute Cluster is the quintessential compendium of this project. The magniloquent Fragmentation could be used in a horror-movie soundtrack. Superscalar feels more futuristic and dystopian, borrowing simultaneously from the sinister atmospheres of digital hardcore and from the baroque elegance of Yes. Binary Space is a percussive festival, ranging from blastbeats to videogame blips, The album ends with the synth intoning a solemn hymn in the nine-minute Sentinel Node, his catchiest and most radio-friendly instrumental yet.

(Copyright © 2015 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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