Saturday, 4 February 2012
Review: Exoplanet - Nothing Divides Us Here
I'm not entirely sure why I listened to Nothing Divides Us Here, because I knew in advance what Exoplanet does, and I knew I don't really get a kick out of it. Exoplanet releases on web label Proton and its sub-lable Particles, which tends to put out a lot of glitchy, melodic and not-very-danceable progressive stuff you never hear in clubs, because most of it isn't very danceable. It's like a sound without a scene. Exoplanet basically does a particularly atmospheric and dark take on that sound - a lot of tracks here are essentially just rhythmic ambient pieces, totally unsuitable for the dancefloor.
On the face of it, that sounds like exactly the kind of stuff I'd enjoy, but his music easily becomes wallpaper fare, lacking strong melodic or rhythmic cores and stagnant and unchanging in mood. I don't particularly like using the word "sterile" when critiquing electronic music, because this is all inhuman bleep-bloop computer shit and so it's pretty much sterile by default. Calling it sterile is almost as bad as calling it "soulless". However, there's just something about Exoplanet's sound that is really dry - it doesn't move me, doesn't seem to try very hard to excite or unsettle or do anything. It's atmospheric, but it's difficult to pinpoint exactly which atmosphere is being evoked.
I must admit, though, I did enjoy the album a bit more than I expected to. It certainly didn't blow me away, but it was decent enough mood music late at night. But really though, I don't see where this music fits. It insists on using dancefloor rhythms and templates even though it'd be utterly useless on a dancefloor, and yet these hinder its capacity to be genuine ambient music. There's plenty of great atmospheric dance music out there, but this is average at both aspects. Also, the track titles are fucking annoying pretentious faux-intellectual nonsense like "Even Impermenance Is Transient". What the fuck is that supposed to mean? Either it's a complete tautology or it's an outright oxymoron, and it's masquerading as some sort of philosophical epiphany, meant to add weight to the noodly non-prog it's attached to. It pretty much sums up this reasonable but ultimately forgettable album: It's Not As Deep As It Thinks It Is.
Genre: Progressive Nothing
Stupid Arbitrary Rating: 6/10