Né(e): Juanjo Fernández y Miquel Martínez
Sounds Like…Boreals, Underworld, Rabbit on the Moon, Boards of Canada, and the recent Spanish new wave/industrial movement
You should listen to The Suicide of Western Culture because…the duo is as equally invested in making complex electronic music as it is in giving their tracks long, witty, and nostalgic titles.
Before last year’s epic round of touring in the U.S. and Canada, The Suicide of Western Culture were Catalunya’s best-kept secret. If you hear their second effort, Hope Only Brings Pain, you’ll have no doubt as to why they managed to cross over the pond. Their music is a strange mixture of ambient, heavy synths, industrial, and glitch, that makes the record sound as dark and heavy as its title. Yet, don’t dismiss it as another gloomy electronica band, because you’ll miss the point. Like label mates Boreals, their production is so tight and intricate that they use a mixture of tempos, glitch, and percussion (sometimes switching it up in the same song) to create music that evokes a myriad of emotions all at once. Sometimes the sounds clash with each other to create a unique reaction in the listener and, also, to explore themes like oppression, anger, and hope. For example, the track “Hey Guys! I Know the Names of the Culprits” begins with a hopeful, innocent synth loop that is suddenly underscored by a fast percussion reminiscent of Underworld’s classic “Born Slippy (Nuxx).” It gets you high and low in roughly four minutes.
One of the best tracks off the record, “Oranienburger,” is sex in a can, an epic glitchfest until Fernández and Martínez change gears into a more ethereal synth line that may as well soundtrack your entry to heaven (or what have you). These types of contrasts are what make Hope Only Brings Pain a brilliant record with intense sonic textures and even more complicated ideas behind it. I’ll let you decide if you want to call this IDM or not. I would just call it badass.