CD, Evolve Singularity, 2006
“The Machineries” is Extropy’s follow-up to the album “Lethe” released in 2003. During the interregnum, Dave Andrus and Jeremiah Savage released the politically-charged experimental album “the Assassination Project” in 2004 and, as Extropy, the single “Tangents” in 2005.
If the (over-used) term ‘crossover music’ can be applied to anyone, it’s certainly to Extropy. More than ever in “The Machineries”, the music of this duo skilfully incorporates and merges elements from a wide variety of music genres – ranging from industrial, glitch and pop to classical, ambient and idm – and influential sources, which render it unique and very difficult to categorize. As this album clearly shows Extropy’s music is on a class of its own and in a state of permanent evolution.
Similar to the previous album, melancholy is the dominant feeling that permeates all the songs in “The Machineries”, conveyed through the mature and accomplished song-writing skills of Dave and Jeremiah, in a series of memorable and sometimes intimate ballads. These go from introspective moments, reflecting personal experiences like the song “Tangents”, to considerations about the world at large in songs like “Metropolis” and “Walls Are Screens” (the last one reminiscent of “the Assassination Project” release) and other more esoteric themes, all described in the excellent lyrics delivered by Dave Andrus (and unfortunately only available in Extropy’s site).
In addition to Extropy’s characteristic skilled and polished electronic production, this new album features a progression towards more complex arrangements and instrumentation. The extensive use of more ‘conventional’ instrumentation (live guitar, bass and percussion) is applied to great effect, and opens even more horizons for sampling/re-working which Extropy clearly took advantage of. There doesn’t seem to be any point in “The Machineries” that wasn’t carefully and meticulously arranged with a clear purpose and the album flows remarkably as a whole.
Highlights tracks in “The Machineries” depend greatly on a matter of personal taste and disposition. “Metropolis” is a memorable track lyrically and in musical composition, somehow reminiscent of Fritz Lang’s homonymous film, while “Tangents”, despite the intrinsic calm, seems to be the most emotionally-charged song in the album. Seemingly conventional at first, “The Quiet Attraction Of Subirbia” is an interesing instrumental piece, where live instrumentation is used, processed and merged with electronica arrangements. The title track is worthy of notice as a delicate construct merging ambient glitches and guitar work and which is a fitting end to this album, along with the closing “Coda”, slowly bringing the machineries to a halt.
With this album, Extropy surpassed all expectations that had been created with their previous album and delivered quite a few memorable surprises. “The Machineries” is an impressive album to be appreciated like a very good wine and which will surely age like one. This is a mandatory purchase for anyone that likes good music.
— Miguel de Sousa