Pick of the week: Djedjotronic – R.U.R. (Boysnoize Records, BNR174)
Science fiction from the past is interesting territory to traverse, a sort of prophetic time travel spun together as the imagined future becomes a real present. Techno has a long legacy of channeling the future through aural exploration. It’s always been a time traveling genre with a specific focus on the interface between man and machine or perhaps the replacement of the former by the latter. These cross-temporal experiments continue on Djedjotronic’s new LP “R.U.R.”, where cold machines are sequenced by a warm heartbeat unless of course, it’s the other way around.
Produced over the past year in a basement studio is South France, Djedjotronic pointedly chose an album format to allow for a true cataloguing of these experiments. The album’s titles and samples (“Avatars Have No Organs” features the voice transhumanist performance artist Stellarc’s prosthetic head) are of futurism, technology-fueled isolation, robotics, AI, simulation and cyborgs… themes that captured the prescient imagination of techno and electro’s founders and are even more relevant today. There are lots of nods to the great techno-futurist producers of the distant and recent past, from Cybotron to I.F. to The Hacker to sounds of the legendary Thursdays at Pulp in Paris when Ivan Smagghe helmed the decks. In the album’s most aggressive, dancefloor focused moment, Nitzer Ebb’s Douglas McCarthy lends vocals for an industrial-arpeggiated monster of a track.
Much of the album, however, explores lower BPMs- no good story stays the same pace the whole time. From the ambient opening of “Dr. Rossum”, to the OG electro styling of “H+”, to the aptly jacking “Cockring Robot”, the album serves as a haunting time traveling trip temporally and through genres. It rightfully ends with the titular track “R.U.R.”, Djedjotronic’s own vision of the future. There’s something vaguely human about the pumping lead a crushed violin? and paradoxically both a claustrophobic and cavernous quality to the production. “R.U.R.” feels like a battle, and for good reason. The past’s own prophecies of technology usurping humanity are all but coming true, and this album is Djedjotronic’s call to arms.
Tracklist: Djedjotronic – R.U.R. (Boysnoize Records, BNR174)
A1 / 1. Dr Rossum
A2 / 2. H+
A3 / 3. Cops
B1 / 4. Are Friends Electric feat Lokier
B2 / 5. Electric Body
B3 / 6. Chasing The Lights
C1 / 7. Take Me Down feat Douglas McCarthy
C2 / 8. Avatars Have No Organs feat Stelarc’s Prosthetic Head
C3 / 9. Cockring Robot
D1 / 10. Not A Toy
D2 / 11. R.U.R.