CD, Hands Productions, 2010
One thing that I have to give credit to The PCP Principle for is that he certainly has a distinctive style. If you are familiar with his debut release on Hands Productions, then you will have a good idea of what this new album is like. There are two ways to view this album:
1. A flurry of dense, machine gun-esque, high-intensity rhythmic noise beats with out of place, overly bombastic, quasi-cinematic orchestral elements.
2. A flurry of dense, if somewhat overbearing, orchestral elements – akin to the soundtrack of a cartoon/video game chase scene, coupled with out of place harsh, rhythmic noise beats.
As you can tell, there are two main elements to this recording – crunchy noise beats and symphonic melodies – and no matter how you slice it, they simply don’t fit together that easily. Each aspect is done well on its on, but the jarring juxtaposition is too radical to be particularly likable. The melodic stuff could work on its own – the composition and progressions are fine, but because every track is at such a high BPM, they tend to come off as cheesy and goofy. The melodic elements help to differentiate the tracks, as they are fairly diverse, however you will no doubt notice certain elements appearing over and over again. The rhythmic noise side of this release is much more enjoyable; the high-tempo fury of machine-like, persistent, pounding drums have a cold, precise sound and militant dynamic to them. My two qualms with the beats are that they sound far too similar from song to song, and that the kick drum is not pronounced enough. There are a couple of instances where PCP is able to combine melody and rhythm with marginal success, including “Apocalypse When?” and “Travesty”, but the best tracks on the album are the ones such as “Tiny Minds” and “FLX” where the orchestral elements are scaled back and used sparingly as accents rather than a focal point. As a whole, the mixing and mastering is quite good. For all its uniqueness, I’m not sure how many people will actually enjoy this record. If you’ve always wanted to hear Final Fantasy sped up and set to fast-paced rhythmic noise, your opportunity has come at last. I’d really like to hear some remixes of this that tossed the symphonic accompaniment.
— Dan Barrett