The world of replicr is dark. It’s a place where light rarely peeks out of the shadows that make up the new 65daysofstatic record. A complex, sprawling piece of work that pushes itself musically throughout the fourteen tracks on offer, replicr is the sound of a band determined to push boundaries as they move into their sixth full-length record. It is an exceptional piece that takes listeners through a journey of hopeful darkness.
‘Pretext’ opens the album in a wormhole, the sprawling, squeezed out sounds immediately inspiring a sense of unease. It’s as though you are stood just outside, listening through the walls, unable to quite make out what’s going on inside. You’d be forgiven for thinking that this softness typifies the album as a whole – the abyss that is ‘Pretext’ is quickly filled with the battling rhythms of ‘stillstelllung’, a gripping, tense work that takes me back to my early forays into Lightning Bolt. Gone is the calm and quiet of the opener – this is a full blown assault on the senses. In fact, I was probably wrong to pull open replicr for my first listen cycling into work early one September morning. I almost found myself careering into the curb on Cricklewood Broadway as ‘stillstellung’ opened. The album moves in this way, from calm to chaos, throughout – 65daysofstatic have mastered these juxtapositions.
The album tells a story of disassociation and suffering, with small interludes dropped throughout to enhance this feeling of otherness. Away from these, ‘Sister’ feels like a soft, flickering window into a breakdown of sorts. I found myself repeatedly falling back, at times, for reference, to Aphex Twin’s second volume of Selected Ambient Works. Replicr inhabits the same sort of spaces where the listener feels almost voyeuristic, staring through the cracks into a cerebral demise.
The album peaks with the back to back sounds of ‘popular beats’ and ‘five waves’. These two together form the apparent centrepieces – two rhythmic, controlled stabs of perfect chaos. 65daysofstatic speak to you through their soaring sine waves and their bitter drums. You’re walking alongside the band as they craft, at times, gut-wrenching sonic canvasses.
A word on album closer ‘trackerplatz’ – on a late night train coming back from Mill Hill Broadway, I found myself staring out the window at the now derelict Homebase that you pass on the way to Kentish Town. This abandoned monstrosity, where once I shopped with family for bags of soil, now stands empty, awaiting demolition. As ‘trackerplatz’ played, it’s sombre chords filling my mind, it felt the perfect soundtrack. A faint hope in the chords mirrored the faint hope that once existed walking those aisles, though of what, I cannot be certain. It was the perfect way to conclude the record, in a three-minute stab of empty belief.
Review by Alexander Sarychkin