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Famine – Nature's Twin Tendencies

Written by: Sage
Artist: Famine (CAN)
Title: Nature’s Twin Tendencies
Label: Tympanik Audio (USA)
Cat. #: TA051
Format: Digi-CD

Genre: Glitch / Breakcore / IDM

01) Mercury (What Lies behind the Curtain)
02) Powerspender
03) Sig/Int
04) Utarid
05) Remorseless
06) Dread Father
07) Blasphemous Reverence
08) Realign (The Conjuration of Perfect Nature)
09) Dantalion
10) Material Things
11) Weak
12) Nature’s Twin Tendencies
13) Everyone is Happy

That moment.  That fucking unbelievable (and unforgettable) moment when someone in music that you’ve barely heard of in their meager artistic existence takes a small piece of your world and flips it on it’s head.  That moment that never fails to come as a journalist — when everything starts sounding the same and few appear to be attempting to push barriers, this comes along.  Overall, it’s not really the music that Famine is making that makes his eclectic electronic compositions special, but rather the way that he is interpreting and approaching music in general and using it to his advantage via a unique style of sampling that creates a crossover-like genre.  That is, he isn’t simply reverting back to an intricately played Mozart’s Requiem or glitching the life out of some obscure performance of Bach’s cello suite to give his music it’s strange flavor.  Instead, he’s having much more fun simply flipping the bird to any amount of various boundaries that are attempting to restrain his interests and making a real, incredibly tenacious and confident electronic hybrid.  And apparently, this isn’t the first time that he’s thrown caution to the wind…

It, however, never seems to stop being an endless source of frustration when the artist behind the music is often either completely anonymous or known simply by an alias.  Thus, though Famine doesn’t seem to have a name, he does have character and a will to create something unique if not beautiful.  This glitchy IDM / breakbeat project is every bit as inventive as it is anonymous.  Pulling it’s roots from areas like dark ambiance, melancholy and black metal, what Famine has accomplished with “Nature’s Twin Tendencies” is nothing short of remarkable on a very mature level.  Tracks like “Material Things” reverberate of a human warmth on a disturbingly familiar level while the title track in “Nature’s Twin Tendencies” creates a desperately hopeless emotion that comes from a surreal world all of it’s own.  All the while, intricate and uncannily complex rhythms are working their way into existence, building skeletal structures, evolving through each track and fractally painting the album that you have before you.  This melodic beauty predominantly inhabits the second third of the record, the first third being fairly straight-up Squarepusher style glitch and extreme technical breakbeat as well as a healthy dose of ambient backgrounds (Utarid).  Order and chaos — the assumption behind the tendencies spoken of in the album title.

Despite the beautifully melodic third portion and insanely technical first portion, it’s the middle area of this release that makes it special.  Taking segments of tracks from the likes of Merciful Fate, Napalm Death and Dimmu Borgir, Famine creates an utterly shell-shocked, destructive crossover style that is unique to this artist and, as far as I can tell, this artist alone.  While the utilization of Napalm Death’s “Hung” and Dimmu Borgir’s otherwise fairly boring track “The Serpentine Offering” alone were impressive in their own right, “that moment” didn’t occur until the familiar annihilation-driven tremolo picking of Gorgoroth took the floor with “God Seed”, and if by some miraculous discovery of some ancient alien electronic wisdom, Famine took it beyond its former glory with his intense vision, breathing entirely new life into the track, as if a song could somehow be possessed.  If you can take a classic, make it your own, and take the quality that made it special to begin with to an entirely new height, then you have effectively mastered a skill that is beyond the comprehension of most.

Many have been hailing this album as a work of modern perfection, and while initially I had my doubts, I struggle to find anything negative to say about it at all — even on a purely opinionated, aesthetic level.  As far as glitchy IDM goes with a brilliant, unique vision, professional production, painstakingly performed technicality and a hefty dose of balls, good luck finding better.

Rating: 5/5