The Fun Down Under
For anyone who swears by the “Amen Break” or anything that resembles what people in the Matrix have on their iPods, Australia’s Pendulum have been a daily “go to” group for overseas electronica. Their new release Immersion is a testament to something beyond “cool wobbles.”
Immersion begins with “Genesis,” an 8-bit-laced intro fit for the Final Fantasy series. Pendulum’s past albums have made a point that their releases should be treated like a journey – sci-fi themes and all. This is no different.
The album’s first “real” track, “Salt in the Wounds,” doesn’t stray too far from Pendulum’s arsenal – mostly because it seems all too familiar. The same fat synth, drum break, and tempo are all featured in their previous single “Blood Sugar” from their re-issued release of Hold Your Colour. Don’t let this track fool you. It’s a lesson to the newbies that Pendulum can still throw down.
“Set Me on Fire” is a vocal dubstep track with as much intensity and precise production as any Ratatat or Justice release. It’s is light on the wobbles and heavy on the groove. Something geekworthy hits the nostalgia senses with “Under the Waves,” using a synth unique to Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s soundtrack. If video games and dance music can come together this well outside of the chiptune realm, there’s hope for geeks yet.
Tracks like “The Island – Pt. 1 Dawn” and “The Vulture” are tailor-made for clubs. A constant barrage of hyper-loud beats with likeable synth melodies, they keep Pendulum in the safe zone. In no way is Immersion pushing any boundaries, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Experimentation and groundbreaking concepts aside, this album is meant for the kids who appreciate electronic dance music you can actually dance to.