Alien Metal Analysis

Raw (NO LABEL) from Marc Spruit may be quite close to Repetitive Parts, his 2021 album which was an attempt to go further with ruthless editing of his computer-generated sounds, sometimes injected with field recordings, and pushing out beyond the restrictions of dance music to occupy his own personal area of computer electronica art music. Even the cover art uses a similar cover scheme, albeit with no recognisable imagery this time. I’m also getting a similar vibe of utterly alien and non-human input from these clipped, microscopic shards, as if he were systematically swapping out his own nervous system with microchips and printed circuits filched from an android that arrived in his home last year from the Andromeda system.

Although this isn’t the sort of avant-groovester we can recommend to fans of dubby beat-laden electro-bursts, it is fascinating to see this Dutch outlier evolve his own personal take on the “glitch” genre, daring to take it in directions that even the scientists of Mego and Raster-Noton might not have imagined. One reviewer has noted the “highly warbled voices” on the fourth track, but even these elements are barely human – they’re like samples from a broadcast that’s taking place hundreds of thousands of miles away in deep space, largely unintelligible, with a message that has long since lost its meaning. Elsewhere on the set, I’m enjoying those moments where events take a slightly more chaotic and noisy turn, steely abstractions tumbling around in an imaginary space and bumping their five-dimensional corners against the viewing panel.

Plenty of odd textures and sensations are encountered as Spruit makes these bizarre explorations, but about 50% of it still feels like process art, determined by the limits of what his laptop can or cannot do; it might be nice to hear him apply his ideas to another theme, something with a life outside the computer. Even so, if you want precision-tooled digital edges sharpened like a razor, check in now. From 4th April 2022.