A Dance for This Planet of Apes
The first seven tracks of Whorl function as a galactic shuttle to a strange and far-away land where beings act on primal instincts instead of logic. A place in a galaxy of excess where there is minimalism. Where collaboration flourishes amidst selfishness. This is the world of Simian Mobile Disco.
The first seven songs of this album are just that, hurtling through “futuristic” sound waves at cruising speed until you can’t take it anymore. Or until you get sick of it. “Calyx” is the first song on this album (the first one following that extensive sonic journey) that resembles something that one could relate to without being on a rocket ship. Those early tracks are interesting, but not earth-shattering, more like finding the big dipper. They’re fun for a moment, but you’ve done it before and then you start looking for other constellations after a minute or two.
After “Calyx,” though, things pick up. “Jam Side Up” and “Tangents” stay true to the futuristic theme but add a driving beat down the spine of the ambient tones and create a whole new creature. This one has energy and swagger (not like J. Biebs and his little boy swagger, but an “I’ve been to the moon but it’s really not that big of a deal, what’s new with you?” swagger). The last two songs, “Iron Hedge” and “Casiopeia,” catapult you back into the abyss to float off to wherever you came from.
Whorl is an interesting project. It was recorded live and then tuned up in the studio. The English duo used throwback technology and only a synth and a sequencer each to create this nebulous of sound. It’s futuristic, it gets a bit funky, and it’s out there. Take a listen. You never know, you might be a cosmonaut yourself.