PODCAST: The Forest Passage 19: Siberian Retro (Fight Your Own War, Perturbator)
After a hectic month of projects and work we return to talk about what we’ve been listening to and watching. Jesse discusses two Russian bands, Nordavind & Volkolak, while Raul takes it back to the neo-retro synthwave sounds of Perturbator, and industrial from JK Flesh & Aderlating. We also talk about the show Stranger Things, the 80’s throwback trend in culture, the new book power electronics book “Fight Your Own War”, and Jesse’s hatred of saxophones.
Power electronics is a genre of industrial or ‘noise’ music that utilises feedback and synthesizers to produce an intense, loud, challenging sound. To match this sonic excess, power electronics also relies heavily upon extreme thematic and visual content— whether in lyrics, album art, or live performance. It is a genre that often invites strong reactions from both listeners and critics, if not dismissed or ignored altogether. FIGHT YOUR OWN WAR is the first ever English-language book primarily devoted to power electronics, bringing together essays and reviews that explore the current state of the genre, from early development through to live performance, listener experience, artist motivation, gender and subcultures, such as ‘Japanoise’.
From Heathen Harvest’s review of Uncanny Valley:
This is what makes the French synthwave project Perturbator unique and successful: its unabashed, arms-wide-open acceptance and reappropriation of eighties aesthetics and tropes without the hint of irony or parody. Perturbator stands out in the synthwave scene not just because of its technical music acumen, but also for the unapologetic embrace of these tropes. In unskilled hands, the results would come off as camp or comedic. Instead, Perturbator successfully mixes the cultural milieu of eighties cyberpunk, anime, dark synth music from the likes of John Carpenter or low-budget films such as Future-kill (1985), occultism, neo-noir, and tech-noir. The end results come off as not only dead serious, but incredibly engaging and surprisingly relevant to today’s societal woes.
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