- This is the second full release from the Austin duo, though likely the first that most people will grapple with, but thanks to the throwback thriller, Stranger Things, and its distinguished retro soundtrack, Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein have all the exposure they need for SURVIVE.
Rather than being a hair colour catalogue number, RR7349, is the story of John Carpenter and Cliff Martinez strolling through descriptions of their favourite dystopian landscapes while all of the finest ‘80’s spook-synth scores swirl together as one. Basically the kind of thing Snake Plissken would listen to while doing free weights and plotting.
If you can divorce the album from the spectre of its references, what’s left is a collection of nine themes, each explored with an opulent approach to the use of a minimalistic palette, fusing elements of darkwave, electro, and IDM with a mix of ersatz distortion and lavish spaces. Titles like High Rise, Copter, Low Fog, and Dirt could all stand in for screenplay settings, doing their best to engineer an accounting of their themes in the most immediate way possible.
There’s a lot to be said for simply doing one thing well but doing it to the point of exclusion is another. RR7349 is pointedly evocative, though slightly repetitive, but for the sort of person seeking a certain sinister ambience to score their lives, this album describes its scenes so well that a little myopia could be forgiven as just a passionate commitment to craft.
- Nic Addenbrooke.
Album Title: RR7349
Record Label: (Relapse)