by Angel S.
Conjecture is a solo project by Greek visual artist and musician Vasilis Angelopoulos. Urbanitarianism is his third full-length album for the German label Raumklang Music. Angelopoulos has been associated with projects like Gas Masked Lestat, Ognena and his own imprint Species Productions, where he operated in the noisier regions of post-industrial music. While Conjecture might be considered his more polished and straight-forward take on post-industrial, its concepts and resulting hostile atmosphere make for a great deal of harshness.
As the title suggests, Urbanitarianism is like a soundtrack to our (already) decaying urbanized world, shattered by greed, consumerism, politics, and everything we all “love” about it. Urbanitarianism is about making your way through a new way of perception. The album lets you look through the eyes of somebody who’s seen and learnt to live in the old world but has accepted current reality. It allows you to see the beauty in destruction and leaves you somewhere between complete surrender to reality and conscious struggle to ascend and conquer it, and to establish a way of existing on your own.
Urabnitarianism is a perfectly crafted album. Hard-hitting industrial beats, often deconstructed by old school IDM breaks and glitches, breathe life into the broken world that Conjecture creates. Mean bass lines lurk beneath cinematic pads, and simple but extremely memorable melodies transform the pieces into real rites of passage, not just snapshots of the world that we’re shown.
The only thing I feel Urbanitarianism is missing is a few more ambient pieces in the vein of the closing track, “Right Behind The Pendulum”, or at least more solely atmospheric passages. Sometimes the ugliest scenery needs you to stay still for a bit and understand it. Sometimes the listener needs to actually sit and completely absorb the “spiritual sickness… claustrophobia, asphyxiation… sucking the life out of the soul”.
Since the release of Urbanitarianism, Conjecture put out My Body, Your Temple. That EP showed exactly this side of the project I needed to see explored further, dominated by the ambient post-industrial sound. I’m really looking forward to the next Conjecture album where these two worlds might actually meet and create something next-level.