This Is Only a Test
Have you ever wondered what happens to those discarded circuit boards, microchips and tangled wires when they sit in the landfill for long enough? They dream. They start to talk to each other. They fuse with the plastic and glass around them and wander the landscape. They drink chemicals, watch early '70s sci-fi movies and freebase gold dust. Then they put out an album. Unified Alarm Systems is the experimental electronic duo of Brainswarm's Tim Donovan and Friendly Psychics Music co-founder Chris Jones. The group formed in the fall of 2008 as an offshoot of Brainswarm, delving into digital soundscapes by using unconventional recording methods and gear like the Theremin and various circuit-bent toys. Theirs is a simple mission. They make their compositions gurgle and bubble over with fuzzy synth lines and textures worthy of the "Clockwork Orange" soundtrack as performed by Kraftwerk. And yet they remain rooted in recognizable compositions - a vocal melody here, a keyboard line there. It's familiar but utterly original, a clash of imagery, noise and saccharine notes that leaves you wanting more. It's a bit like wandering through the wreckage of a neon city while damaged androids vomit sparks and try to kill each other. The only difference is that you're one of them. Happy hunting, slugger.