The Algorithm – ‘OCTOPUS4’ [Review]
“Nothing’s new in music anymore!”
“It all sounds the same these days…”
“Everything good was done decades ago. New music just sucks.”
These quotes (and more) are all common music-fan complaints. But anyone who’s ever said such things has never heard of The Algorithm.
Now, let’s be clear here. Yes, pretty much all electronic music owes a permanent debt to the work of Kraftwerk and co., and The Algorithm’s music was not made in a vacuum. It’s perfectly possible to pick apart each moment here and say “OK, this is happening, and there’s this and this going on underneath”, get super-surgical about it, and then sit back and say “…and that’s why it sounds like that!”. But this is not how music that’s created by a genuine artist works.
When music is created as art – as pure self-expression – it cannot be reduced to its innermost elements, like a car engine or computer can. Well, OK, it can; but doing so misses the point entirely. When music is a person’s art, you need to take it in whole; its value lies not in the notes, but what’s behind the notes. The ability to convey the message and feeling behind the notes is the mark of a true artist.
On that basis, Rémi Gallego (aka The Algorithm) is a true artist.
Listening to OCTOPUS4, I don’t want to take it apart. I want to move. I want to get outdoors, to stand in a massive fucking tent at a festival and share the experience with other people. I want to talk to people face to face. OCTOPUS4 induces all these mental states while existing as a primarily digitally-enhanced entity. How often does tech make you want to really connect with people, rather than sit and stare at a screen? Fucking never, that’s how often.
In a world where the digital rules, where Facebook is investing heavily in virtual reality and Google’s director of engineering is working toward realising a vision in which humanity would live not as organic beings, but as man-machines, existing forever in the same kind of reality that the kings and queens of social networking want to get us enthralled with tomorrow, OCTOPUS4 is a sneakily subversive agent of change. Or, at least, potential change.
What actually happens, of course, is up to you.
Links / Listen / Buy
Follow TMMP on Twitter for more awesome music! If you’re a regular reader, thanks for the support! Don’t stop, and keep going!