replicr, 2019 is the seventh album in the near 20 year career of Sheffield experimentalists, 65daysofstatic. The album is at once a continuation and evolution for the band. It follows their score for the game No Man’s Sky, which caused them to think differently about the way they made music, building their own synths, software and way of writing.
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What happened to 65daysofstatic? Last I checked in with them they were making euphoric instrumental anthems that lay at the mid point of IDM and post-rock. Remember ‘Wild Light’? All bright eyed and optimistic? Well that was way back in 2013 before everything turned to Shit™. We’re in big 2019 now people! Hopelessness and nihilism isn’t just for the emos anymore, everyone’s in on it! Even your favourite UK post-rock stalwarts.
Given all that, it’s apt that they’ve put the current year in the album title. ‘replicr, 2019’ is a record whose morbidness might come across as incongruous without that very helpful label. The music is dark and sinister, all crumbling at the edges. But it sounds huge, as big as the solar system Roly Porter imagined on his momentous ‘Life Cycle Of A Massive Star’. Our whole world is dying, just ask Greta Thunberg.
Creating a world is hard, but 65daysofstatic have had practice. Their work on the ‘No Man’s Sky’ soundtrack helped introduce algorithms to their work which means the sounds here have a detail about them that implies the infinite. ‘five waves’ features these odd wisps of sound that flitter around as they please. The bass on ‘sister’ is so intense and dreadful it feels primordial. And the drums on ‘stillstellung’, oh my! Drums haven’t hit this hard since SØS Gunver Ryberg’s first EP.
There is still a trace of the 65daysofstatic of old here, that willingness to do something obvious because it will be effective. But it's this tendency for nuance, and not only in the sound design, that makes ‘replicr, 2019’ stand as one of their best ever releases.
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