Tuesday 12 April 2016

Review: Victor Love – 'Technomancy'


Victor Love, the founder principle writer and producer of Dope Stars Inc. has been very busy over the last year. Not content with releasing new music with his main project, he has also been scouring his archives for unreleased gems and moulding a cyberpunk vision for himself through his solo releases. The time has finally come now for his début solo album through Metropolis records.

Unifying the electronic elements of Dope Stars Inc. with a more minimalistic, dance friendly and conceptual direction than before. The end result is a blend of scathing guitars, catchy synth leads and elements of hip hop and glitch music with elements of industrial, ebm and techno. It can easily be compared to the likes of Skinny Puppy, ohGr, Katscan, KMFDM, 'Twitch' era Ministry with Victor Love's identifiable DIY style present throughout.

The album kicks off with a ultra heavy beat collaboration with KMFDM in the form 'Bitchcraft' which sees a fatter and unabashed anthemic sound that is a brilliant statement of intent. The likes of 'Cocaine' featuring Deflore, 'I Curse You' featuring Zu, 'The New System' featuring Aborym, and 'Blind Or Dead' featuring The Enigma TNG, continue the bombastic and heavy sound that fans of Dope Stars Inc. will find the easiest to connect to, while the likes of 'Irrationality' featuring Spiritual Front, 'Surrenders' featuring Deathstars, 'Can't You Remember' featuring Hate Inc., and 'Black Dreams' featuring ORAX explore minimalistic and texturally interesting areas bringing the techno influences to the fore of the album.

The production is crisp and modern. The synth leads have a classic sound to them, and there are low-fi elements interspersed throughout, however there is nothing low-fi or old school about the production. This is a cyberpunk album that still manages to have a nice futuristic edge to it, as though this should be the soundtrack to the much delayed 'Neuromancer' film.

This is a great full-length début by a honed and hardened veteran of all things cyberpunk. The collaborations are great and the album presents quite a varied spread of sounds that will easily appeal to established fans and attract new ones. With a great EP and single released last year, this album is the final legitimisation of Victor Love as a solo artist and hopefully it will cement his reputation as the force that he is.  

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