Overrider – cyc|er

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: Self Release
Released: May 2020
Buy Album: Here
Band Website: https://overrider.bandcamp.com/

Band line-up:

John Simm – Drums on black_hatch, ansible, quarter|ess  and agitated_|
Joseph Andreoli – Guitar on p ssibility_sw rd(re|cycler version only)
Tom Peters – Mastering

Tracklisting:

01) [sky ladder]
02) agitated_|
03) the |eft hand
04) ansible
05) p ssibility_sw rd
06) anchored | p u n c h
07) quarter|ess
08) black_hatch
09) wings over the wor|d

Review:

It’s said that the album is an attempt to explore the depression and hopelessness that characterise our times and Overrider really successfully takes us on an emotional journey, with deep electronic sounds and melodic voices creating an ambience that allows the audience to relax and connect with the message they want to communicate, the songs largely dark and often dissonant.

The highlight of this album is the track ‘ansible’ which is already available as a single, has a completely different dynamic from the rest of the record and works really well.

Commenting on the single, their guitarist says: “This is probably our most aggressive track, and one of the more guitar-heavy. There’s a lot going on—it was inspired by the live sound of bands like Massive Attack, where there’s all these layers of noise, percussion and sub-bass that combine into this sonic assault. This track is specifically about the period where you are cycling out of extreme depression. It’s about the inertia of recovery and how you need to communicate with others to pull through. It’s dark, but, like a lot of material on the record, it’s also defiant. Oh, and on a lighter note,” add the band, “we added the glockenspiel intro as a joke reference to 65daysofstatic. Great band.”

You can hear they have taken influence from OceansizeNIN, and Curve; the record is “supposed to sound like a transmission from deep space,” say the band, “garbled and messed up”—as such, crushed voices, dark layers of noise, and a sinister atmosphere pervade throughout. Of the tracks on the record, ‘The Left Hand’, ‘Possibility Sword’, and ‘Black Hatch’ are perhaps the most electronic-leaning, often using manipulated textures and samples.

The band states:
“we spent years trying to come up with a way of using these random, algorithmic approaches to make something musical. In the end, the balance turned out to be using code to rip up samples and then adding traditional instrumentation over the top.”

“There’s a kind of hacker aesthetic to the whole project,” they continue, “which included things like track names in extended unicode. When we came to sharing finished songs with friends we found they crashed phone media players and all sorts. We had to re-name all the files and sanitize everything.”

The album also features members of CleftAlpha Male Tea Party, and Giraffes? Giraffes!, and mastered by producer Tom Peters—whose own work at Trapdoor Studios,

“Without Tom, the record couldn’t have happened in the way it has,” say the band, “and he’s also a dear friend besides. We appreciate everybody is having a tough time at the moment, but Tom is offering deferred sessions for later in the year as well as remote mixing and mastering in order to keep the doors of his studio open during the crisis, so if you do need any of those things then please get in touch with him: https://tompetersproduction.com/trapdoor-studios

 It was sad to hear that at the end of writing sessions for the record, Overrider’s guitarist was hit by a car and briefly hospitalised. However, this resulted in a burst of creativity resulting in the track ‘Agitated’ I & II, and ‘The Left Hand’.

“I guess it’s predictable to say it changed my perspective,” he muses, “but I felt like the record needed something a bit triumphant, that wasn’t too overthought. Sometimes things come along in life that you didn’t expect, which derail your plans, and mostly you survive them and come out stronger.”

The album cyc|er is the debut album for the electronic band Override from Manchester. The release date is the 15th of May and you can find the lead single ‘Ansible’ to stream or download on bandcamp https://overrider.bandcamp.com/album/ansible.

This is an album really worth checking for the experimental/live coding component of the project. Overall it’s a work whose enjoyment requires experience on the part of its audience and definitely love for this genre of music.

Watch the video here:

 

Review by

Melina Linus Maroulakou

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