We’re big fans of French retrosynth wizard Perturbator here on Bloody-Disgusting and I think it’s pretty obvious why. Inspired by the horror and sci-fi films of our youth, Perturbator’s music is a glorious explosion of synth goodness that is as exciting as it is innovative.
The 2014 album Dangerous Days was one of my favorite releases of that year and I’ve been eagerly awaiting a followup ever since. Today is that day. Today marks the release of The Uncanny Valley, and album that is sure to not only please fans of the genre but also win over newcomers.
Opening with “Neo-Tokyo”, we’re immediately thrust into aggressive percussion and beefy synth basslines with fluttering and sparkling pads. But what makes this track stand out is that it flows wonderfully, going from a hard-hitting attacks to an almost hypnotic cadence.
The album then transitions into “Weapons for Children”, which has this synthetic “whining” around the 3/4 mark that is just badass. There’s really no other way to put it. And the fact that the album then follows with “Death Squad”, which might as well make you feel like The Terminator, just puts the cherry on top of the icing. This opening trifecta already does an amazing job of hooking the listener in but then what follows are three wildly different sounding additions that prove that Perturbator is not only back with amazing music but that he’s matured and grown in his approach, bringing far more to the table than one would have imagined.
“Femme Fatale” feels like something that should appear in Blade Runner 2. A noir jazzy tune, it exudes the same sadness and that dreary yet beautiful feel from the original 1982 sci-fi film. To be fair, the opening sample of a rainstorm probably helped trigger my memory. “All these moments will be lost… Like tears… in rain…”
Then we’ve got “Venger”, which features the sublime vocals of Greta Link, whose voice adds a delightful dimension to the already stellar track. And “Disco Inferno” is groovy beyond belief, with funk wah guitars that add such a splash of color and fun.
I could go on and on about the strength of this album, with songs like “Diabolus Ex Machina” or “Souls at Zero”, which ends using a sample from Tod Browning’s Freaks, but I think you’re realizing by now that I am absolutely besotted with this release. As I stated above, Perturbator has shown enormous growth and maturity with The Uncanny Valley. There is clearly a mind-boggling amount of thought that has gone into each track, ensuring that each instrument, each tone, each pad, does something interesting. From syncopating the bass against the hi-hats to creating a call-and-response system between various tones, Perturbator skillfully weaves an album that is intricate and absolutely fascinating.
The Final Word: With The Uncanny Valley, Perturbator has released an album that will be heralded as one of the very best of its kind. This is one of those records that you return to over and over and find something new each time.