There are only few thoughts that are less bearable than the one that suggests that you might actually not be part of something big, something unique, something meaningful – like the end of the world for instance. A thought, which as belief -though as old (and if you will: antique) as believing itself- and even hope still attracts generations of seekers. As to me, I find it more than understandable that people refrain from the future for the mere honour of participating at the end – at last one accomplishment, and one you certainly can’t disdain. Yet I am afraid, the hangover on December 22nd will exceed all experience and expectation, for not only will the ever-annoying question ‘why?’ rise but twice within the sobering mind; with yet another apocalyptic failure on the list, we will once more be facing the horrid crossroads of human existence: if to finally take our lives back into our own hands, or once more to turn our sullied splendour towards the next opportunity that provides an easy exit.
But of course, the end is yet to come; and as long as we have not passed that fatal day when the calendar runs out, all this admonition amounts to nothing more than a whisper in this screaming jabber-world, and an excessively wise one too. So let’s focus on the possibilities of Armageddon first.
Now there are several ways of coping with the generational x-factor and doomsdayphilia. Fight through progressive resignation -indeed a paradoxical and somewhat masochistic approach- is what Mr. Mark Caro from Bristol has chosen as his weapon of choice, and in his superhero-disguise as Technical Itch he proclaims this musically via his new The Failed Evolution EP. Being the third in a row dealing with the concept of creation (Shogun Audio’s Evolution EP Series 4 and Metalheadz Genesis EP Pt.4 were only issued one week before), it must needs be stated that in comparison this 5-track complex is by far the most consistent. Whereas the two other EPs basically fail to properly depict their ideas of becoming, Tech Itch leaves absolutely no doubt about his idea of decaying; and thus this EP adds up to a kind of ultimate portrayal of the massive failure that civilization more and more turned out to be. Accordingly, his means of expression are taken directly from former evolutionary epochs of drum & bass itself and particularly draw on the evergreenish sensations of tramen and reeses, carefully mingled with steadily progressing soundscapes and adequately psychotic melodies. The EP starts off with the title track, Failed Evolutionary Experiment; a track, whose rawness quickly repels those that couldn’t stand the drop anyway, and with its simple yet utterly effective, all engulfing and evil (in the best possible sense) meandering bass magma that lies under the tenderly edited high-speed breaks serves as both a reminder of the early techstep days and as powerful sonic singularity, as its sheer energy seems to wipe all reference clean aside. At the moment of listening, the mere imagination of any other acoustic sensation is rendered impossible; a sensation that is even expanded in the EP’s closing track Aura, a devastating downward spiral and true hallmark of evolutionary failure, for only the fallen creature could conduct a blow of selfdestructiveness such as this.
Thus far the surrounding movements of this overall symmetrical work, whose tracks two and four –Elektrane and the especially bewildering Nemago– are oriented around a more melodic and less frantic approach (while not being exactly tame), stratifying tons of diversified sounds in incredibly thick piles of pressure. Yet the production is always slick, clear and mature – never has the old school been more up to date. The centrepiece is the rhythmicwise deliberately impenetrable Creature of War, whose wide stereo frontline indeed resembles the doomed march of some ill purposed heavy machinery while distant roars pervade the trembling air.
Overall, the EP remains a mighty, yet double-edged sword; a trespasser along the thin line that divides present and past, progression, tradition, and even conservatism. And as I mentioned above, the tracks continually sway between resemblance and power. Now one might of course credit this to the overt historicism, which is inherent in any art form that has found its succession – and truth is: only few are left, skilled with this particular handling of broken beats that sadly seems to appeal to even fewer. But that explanation would simply ignore the epic force and unique sound this very own brand of drum & bass brings forth, and strip the world of something rare and special in favour of conformity and hook-or-crook-teleology.
So, if we finally return to our initial prospect on the end of the world and what happens after, we do so richer – not in only in experience of how to confront the apocalypse itself, but also with a strong recommendation as to the accompaniment of the skies collapsing. And when we finally reach the date beyond which a long gone civilization would not manufacture their calendars, let’s keep Tech Itch and his special views on evolution in mind; and remember: It might be a good day to die. But it might just as well be a good day to live. And listen.
Tech Itch – The Failed Evolution EP (Tech Itch Digital) – http://techitch.com/album/the-failed-evolution-ep
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