03 God is the Devil
04 The Brave One
05 Fade Away
10 The Day the Earth stood Still
Stating such varied influences as Velvet Acid Christ, Massive Attack, Enigma, and composer Akira Yamaoka, it’s clear that the man behind Impurfekt, Aaron Russell, has had a great deal of listening experience behind him. It’s one thing to be bred into a specific genre through listening to the same style over and over, its another to take these various electronic subtle differences and combine them into a tangible and listenable project. And really, for this project, subtlety is the key. Throughout Savior, the primary consistency is that its always the little things that make the music special. In addition, throughout the album, its the emotional sampling and melodic structure that gives Savior a great deal of warmth. This warmth gives the music a surprisingly human appeal, whereas projects like Impurfekt would strongly sound on the inhuman, robotic side. I liken it to a modern day urban version of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story “The Outsider”. A lone heart in an empty place reaching out desperately for humanity. It is though, in the end, still desperately reaching rather than succumbing to the ignorant lack of will to understand of man.
First impressions of Savior breathe of early aggro-tech influences such as the aforementioned Velvet Acid Christ as well as, perhaps even more closely, Leaether Strip. However, it certainly isn’t fair to lump Impurfekt in with these styles of project as that whole scene is traditionally very straight-forward. Impurfekt manages to take from their heaviest, darkest moments and incorporate them as a utility rather than a foundation. If anything, once all is said and done and the larger picture is revealed, Impurfekt is more of a cinematic type of project. The clarity of production, the seemingly unflawed drift between soothing strings and abrasive industrial rhythms, the usage of urban-born sound effects like city rain. Every small aspect from the looping synth melodies to the groaning bass chords in the background combine to make something nearly completely unique. There are two artists in particular that come out as close in style but not necessarily twins, one of which was mentioned by the project as an influence, one of which was not. First, there’s Holy / Exile Paradise-era In Strict Confidence, who’s lyrics based around religious aesthetics largely shaped their visual side in that time. Then there’s an artist who seems closer than any of the above, [Dismantled]. This now ex-Metropolis Records recording artist had the same cinematic appeal in sound and epic urban texture through his lyrics that Impurfekt is able to relinquich through his music alone.
The one thing that the artist has going for him that none of the above has is his pure talent in both melodic arrangements and in sample mixing. Where most artists would be happy to simply throw in a sample that pertains to the subject matter at hand and leave it at that, Impurfekt will put in a sample and literally tie it to the very foundation of the track through his beautiful production. The way that he tied in the spoken sample track for “God is the Devil” sent chills down my spine and only helped to reiterate the quality of the music and the talent of the composer. The only downside to the artist is the fact that he lists ‘trip hop’ first and foremost in his genre list. I heard very little throughout this particular album that could be clearly described as trip hop (as I’m also a huge Massive Attack fan amongst other artists), though he did have several records prior to this that easily could have a different sound. In all, Savior is clearly a work that wasn’t simply put together in a short time. The effort and will of the artist comes through both in the musical fortitude and in the pure production quality.