On Every Machine (Never Come Down, 2010)
For: Mouse on Mars, Boards of Canada, Gold Panda, Excepter
Byline: Pt. 2 in our ongoing obsession with the adventurous dog and his endless quest for subterranean spelunking.
Woah there, First Dog to Visit the Center of the Earth. Woah there, Boy Fruit. Wha’ happen’ here? You may recall back in March, when the TOME was first made privy to the existence of this wildly creative, talented regime of off-the-charts experimental noise-scramblers that Boy Fruit was the one making the singles, not FDVCE. Well, the tables have evidently turned. Boy Fruit’s latest (reviewed here) sunk his muted songs even deeper into the mud than before, circumventing the need for real melodic motifs with a wallowing texture that stewed humbly in its own tasty porridge of gloppy sound making for an at-least-as-satisfying listen to its predecessor, Repulsive. And so here, on the flip-side of things, is FDVCE, not half a year after the release of the amazing Colossus Archosaur, with an album that finds the artist really discovering the advantages of stabilizing noise and a seemingly random, multi-faceted palate of textures into a more rhythm-centric approach with some surprisingly banging beats and very compelling melodic hooks to front. FDVCE: we’ll make a producer out of you yet. Now, this of course isn’t always the case with On Every Machine, but it’s at least noticeable on a fairly large scale... and make no mistake, none of these are “pop” songs in the slightest. But check out the raga-stomp of “P-Queen”—though rife with machine-gun, percussive stabs and a rhythmic variance that rivals Aphex Twin in complexity, underneath it all is a head-nodding, driving forward motion that’s all but unstoppable. “Inner Dudsmind” and (the hilariously titled) “God Damn it, My Neighbors are Barbecuing?” find success in a similar way, the latter especially, having a faster groove with outer-space synths and nervous triangle patterns. The track sounds like the follow-up single to Geogaddi that Boards of Canada couldn't quite figure out for The Campfire Headphase... but you know, weirder. And harder. “Gator 6” meanwhile draws on a techno base, utilizing similar textures as Mouse on Mars did on Idiology, but again... weirder. So I guess the point is that none of On Every Machine will likely make it into your local discotec, lest the cool crowd in your town happen to be a bunch of freaky-deakies. But you and me and some other like-mindedly geeky music nerd friends of ours should be able to rock this one down in my mom’s basement next weekend at my birthday party. We'll just have to keep the volume down, and lights out by 11:00. We're going to freak out and it's gonna be amazing.
To me, what’s most impressive about FDVCE is his keen sense of space, timing, and volume—how each sound is so distinct and direct, yet mixed with constant and complete proportion to whatever else is going on, even while pieces and parts rise and fall and constantly fluctuate in texture. Some sounds are just so awesomely loud and robust, they’ll rattle your skull until your brain is mush, which is a much more pleasant experience than it might sound. Listening to On Every Machine is like being Neo in the Matrix movies (oh no I didn’t!) and seeing everything in digital binary to the point where all the random 1’s and 0’s come together to magically create a beautiful, harmonious din that surrounds your very essence. I’ll sum up shortly and sweetly... you’ve already waited long enough to get obsessed with First Dog to Visit the Center of the Earth. If you’ll notice, there’s no shiny, glimmering link down below that says “free download” anywhere on this post. That’s because both FDVCE as well as his equally inventive buzz-cousin Boy Fruit are both officially on a (really sweet looking) Chicago-based label. It’s not too late for you, however... you should absolutely visit the Never Come Down label’s site and haul in as much from these two astounding young men as your little hard drive can carry. GO!
Directed by Ryan Watson