What, am I so unabashedly addicted to this musical drug—otherwise known as Analog Concept—that I will review two consecutive manifestations of the man’s artistry? I cannot deny my addiction! And so here I am thick into an electronics inferno. Where my previous excursions have led me into a mystical realm of vintage sounds, hazy VHS-inspired zones full-up with figures surrounded by film grain and auras, and well, flat-out creepy synthesizer atmospheres, this new CDR from the French crew at Stunned brings us into new lands. The terrain here is riddled with classic drum samples, bizarre tempos and time signatures, and then of course some oozy overlap from times of old in the cannon of Alexey—drones drenched in rich res-filters and phaser sweeps. Predominantly, this is an album dealing in the more obvious percussion synthetics—drum samples of the classic Roland nature appear on almost every track, and even though the application is other-worldly, I am transported to an early-90s wonderland of pre-internet mystique and a wide-open frontier in electronic music.
“Listen Already Today to the Music of the Past!” is divided into 16 individual parts, all titled separately—but the disc itself contains only one track, spanning just over 57 minutes. I’ve been taking notes on where the song-breaks are, so if I plan on referencing a ‘song’, I will also try to reference the point at which the song exists on the single long track. Perhaps this elimination of track delineations is a gesture—a kind of simulation in analog production. Were this release a cassette or an LP, obviously we would be in a similar pickle with tracks, durations, etc.
The music on this disc is somehow classic Analog Concept, but also like nothing else the man has released to date. We would expect Alexey to move in new directions with every release (and so far, with nearly every new release, he has met that expectation), so the introduction of more conventional drum machine music is nothing surprising, but I am simultaneously wowed by this new addition to the man’s arsenal. Weirded-out time-signatures lay the groundwork for strange and unsettling tracks, and then sometimes we have a very straight-forward and simple rhythm that is confounded by the intrusion of effects and other external synthesizers. Track three, “First Travel” is a strange march-type track employing classic kick, snare, hat, and clap samples. It sounds like something scored for a short film about samurais battling in the desert. It has a certain intensity due to the nature of the rhythm and the fast tempo, but it also has this backdrop of swirling synthesizer, serving as our endless desert sky.
Ah but what kind of man would the Analog Concept be if he completely abandoned his roots? Keeping on with the strange synthesizer abuse, tracks start to reach into the realm of abstraction and eerie nothingness. Track 10, “Sugar Cube or Back to the Underground” is an atmospheric piece stilted on perpetually moving textured drone, peppered with chirping sine waves and warbling tones. Directly following this is “Alarm” a nauseating iteration of a sine warble, built upon a foundation of stabbing synthesizer notes. I can’t tell if the rhythm on “Alarm” is actually modulating, or if my ears are tricking my brain—but the effect is nonetheless mystifying.
If you’re into electronic music, you don’t want to miss this. If you’re into experimental music, you don’t want to miss this. If you’re into this strange komische synth takeover, you don’t want to miss this! Take these synth revivalists with a grain of salt or at face value, but you cannot refute the infectious nature of some of the music coming out in this field now. Analog Concept triumphs again, serving up a three-decade-long comprehensive amalgam of electronic styles, all wrapped up tidily in his own aesthetic blanket. “Listen Already Today to the Music of the Past!” is at times high-energy, motivating music. It is sometimes relaxing or nostalgic. During active listening, it is eerie, other-worldly, and stimulating. Electronic music may have unfurled itself as far as is possible, but now Analog Concept is attempting folds that have yet been unheard. 9/10 -- Michael Jantz (20 August, 2009)