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- Survive by Survive
8/10 Mike Staff review, 28 February 2014
Austin's synth upstarts Survive are back this week, much to my delight, with this new EP on Monofonus Press featuring three quite lengthy tracks. On the first side they take a departure from the melodic and beat-driven material of their previous records in favour of a passage of ominous deep space drone ambience in 'Turing Test'. Lots of slowly swelling, wobbling synth drones, metallic scrapes and overhead-wire buzz melt together in a procession of hums and rumbles and grates and squeaks which reminds me of a busier take on fellow Texan Kosmonaut's slower paced and more cosmic output. It's a soothing but also slightly claustrophobic cut with increasingly aggressive discordant swells and a weird percussive chitter under everything like some loose wires blowing against a big metal canister. Gritty, sinister and slow-moving.
The B side has more of the rhythmic backbone you would expect from this lot, however (the press release and sleeve both proudly proclaim that they're using a KR55). First there's 'Parousia' which is a triumphant '80s soundtrack type number with a pulsating chord sequence and bright, present melodic theme along with some subtle bubblings and whooshings. Finally 'Short Hour' is more understated, opening with a stop-start staccato bass buzz in time with the drum machine before some glassy droneswells open the sound up and the bass loosens out and is joined by a fast-paced chirrupping melody. The coldness of the beat gives it a bit of a techno feel which is pleasantly offset by all the live synth action. So this EP has two head-nodders of the kind you'd expect from Survive and one wild-card bit of cosmic ambience. Solid.
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