Simian Mobile Disco / Whorl
Album: Whorl   Collection:General
Artist:Simian Mobile Disco   Added:Oct 2014
Label:Anti- / Epitaph  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2014-10-03 Pull Date: 2014-12-05
Week Ending: Nov 30 Nov 16 Oct 26 Oct 19
Airplays: 1 2 2 2

Recent Airplay
1. Feb 21, 2017: The Offbeat Generation
4. Jan 19, 2016: The Offbeat Generation
Hypnick Jerk
2. Sep 22, 2016: subwoofer etc
Hypnick Jerk
5. Jun 18, 2015: channel 0+i
Hypnick Jerk
3. Jun 15, 2016: I Like to Dance: Shake Off Your Pants!
Iron Henge
6. May 14, 2015: channel 0+i
Hypnick Jerk

Album Review
lionel hutz
Reviewed 2014-10-01
Spacey modular synth jams. SMD have gotten more restrained over the years, and this keeps things moving that direction. While there's stuff that'd work fine on the dancefloor, this album plays more with atmospheric abstractions than anything else I've heard from them, and a number of the songs have no percussion at all (though they're not without rhythm). That's a bit surprising, but it's a very good album if you take it for what it is. Much feels like it could be used in a film score (on parts where the plan is in its initial offing, before things get out of control). My only complaint is that the album as a whole feels like it never hits the payoff for all the buildup it creates (which could still be done w/o going beat-heavy), but if you take the tracks individually, that's not an issue. For gear/process nerds: this was put together from recordings of a couple live shows, where everything was played on a couple sequencers and modular synths in real time.

RIYL: stuff you could use to score a space episode of "Nova"

1: spacey undulating underwater synth, occasional chirps like you'd hear associated with a shot of a transmitting sattelite in a movie (though those chirps eventually get some pitch-shifting that makes that comparison less apt). beatless. 3:52
2: opens w/ twangy reverbed keyboard notes and some reversed notes echoing occasionally in the background. atmospheric occasionally wavering pads. different elements get some mild filter sweep at points, and the keys that opened eventually become less dominant. feels like it's building towards some sort of reveal. beatless. 3:33
3: opens with subtle rhythmic click and slowly rising synth peel. cymbal rolls come in before 2:00, then slightly darker keys and occasionally ricocheting lasers. a loping not-quite 4/4 beat kicks in and the original synth wash fades to the background for a bit, then returns. some bubblier keys way in the background around 5:45. kicks drop out with around 6:30. has a a somewhat propulsive midsection, but it's mellow all the way through. 7:28
4: opens with 4/4 kicks, but with one of the kicks out of place (in a good way) every other bar. building ringing synth strings. rising bassline enters just after 1:00, followed a bit later by claps. coalesces just before 2:00. gets sparser (bass, kicks, occasional synth echoes) and then starts coming back together around 3:00, with everythig back in at 3:30 (pulls the same trick again around 5:00). kind of like the stoney cousin of "sleep deprivation" (opening track on their first album), so this has an appropriate title ("hypnick jerk"). 6:02
5: shuffling kicks and a gently insistent set of repeated keyboard notes that gets pitch shifted and occasionally reverbed. keys go bassy and twinkly high end keys enter around 2:00. percussion leaves and re-enters through the course of the song (the song ends beatless). echo gets increased in the final part. 5:49
6: opens with amniotic synth washes. beeps rise up and fall back down starting around 1:00. as the beeps keep coming back, they get pitched down, and then do that record slowing down thing around 2:30 (the whole thing sounds like it's on a slowing turntable at a few points, including the end). beatless. 4:36
7: pensive plinking keys and watery reverbed percussion. rising synth pads. bassline that goes with the pads comes in around 1:00. joined by a breakbeat around 1:30 (that starts tentative and becomes surer). some metallic clinks. keeps getting fuller as more elements get added and the intensity is slowly ratcheted up. a bit of piano enters around 3:50 and the drums drop out, though they flit in and out over the rest of the song. end dissipates in a way that mirrors the beginning. 5:12
8: squiggly moog line to open, gets taken over by droning pads, which then get taken over by a bassline and a bit of percussion. gradual buildup leads to the entry of a steady 4/4 kick around 2:30, followed by intermittent claps just before 3:00. pares down and builds back up a couple times over the course of the song. synth strings enter a couple minutes before the end, and it ends up fading out on those after losing the drums. 7:19
9: opens with descending electric piano riff that starts relatively clean and gradually gets a little fuzzier. just claps and cowbell till around 1:00, when the bassline and drums kick in. bass is squelchy, drums are programmed with a breakbeat and a steady ticking. beat drops out and comes back in around 3:00. bells and synth strings get added later on. ends on the ticking and the bells, which get eaten by some rising static at the very end. 5:36
10: opens with steady kick and submerged keys and pads. elements come and go, but it doesn't deviate too much from that. gets looser and more echo-y towards the end, with a kind of wind-down effect in the last moments. 6:34
11: shuffling drums and echoing bleeps. dramatic bassline. electric piano sounds enter as other melody pulls back a little just before 3:00, though everything soon comes back in. lots of nice pitch bending on part of the melody around 4:00, then different elements slowly drop out till we're back to the bleeps that opened. 5:25
12: pretty reverbed synth keys, gentle echoed beeps. bass comes and goes. lots of little dubby touches. fades out on echo and one last bass note. 3:12

recommended tracks: 4, 1, 3, 8, 11

Track Listing
1. Redshift   7. Nazard
2. Dandelion Spheres   8. Calyx
3. Sun Dogs   9. Jam Side Up
4. Hypnick Jerk   10. Tangents
5. Dervish   11. Iron Henge
6. Z Space   12. Casiopeia