The Algorithm – ‘OCTOPUS4’ [Review]

the algorithm octopus 4“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

The Algorithm official website.

Follow TMMP on Twitter for more awesome music! If you’re a regular reader, thanks for the support! Don’t stop, and keep going!

Posted on 04 June 2014

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