Hardware and Touch Screens — Qual Returns in the Video for His New Cyberpunk-EBM Track “Techsick”

“There is always a guy in the chair,” as Ned from the Spider-Man films says. This idea describes a character who guides the hero through their perilous journey, a Mission Control trope often utilized in video games. In these games, a player is given tutorials or tips on where to go next. With this in mind, Qual’s William Maybelline crafts a narrative where this role takes a darker, more introspective turn, where he is the guy in the chair, representing how we are all plugged into the matrix. “Tech Sick,” the first new music from the Lebanon Hanover co-founder in three years, explores what it means to be the overseer of one’s own cybernetic existence, caught in a web of screens and tech-induced delirium.

The song “Tech Sick” delves into the unsettling allure of technology. Maybelline expresses an almost fetishistic attraction to electronic hardware, describing a deep, visceral connection to screens and devices in a perverse manner, stroking and caressing your touch screen in some sort of tactile, techno-eroticism. He portrays a world where the seductive power of technology captivates him, leading to a symbiotic relationship that feels both fascinating and alarming. The repeated imagery of staring into an HD TV screen that “stares deep back at me” suggests a mutual, almost romantic, engagement between human and machine. This obsession is so intense that it evokes a desire to draw blood, highlighting the dark, erotic fantasy intertwined with his technological fixation.

The video for “Techsick” is a sensory plunge into a retro-futuristic nightmare. The eerie visuals, crafted by JJD and Maru, add layers of depth to the song’s thematic content, enhancing the sense of technological obsession. The showcase Maybelline writhing with his signature dance moves within a 3D grid, a digital arena that evokes both the nostalgic aesthetics of ’80s sci-fi and the unsettling prescience of Philip K. Dick. Co-starring Alice In Flower, the visuals were shot in Glasgow, Scotland, and Athens, Greece.

“Techsick” is a visceral experience. Rhys Fulber (Frontline Assembly) produced the track, and Nectarios Meintanis’s mastering ensured that every beat and synth line hit with calculated precision.

Watch the video for “Tech Sick” below:

It’s been three years since Qual’s last full-length album, Tenebris In Lux. Since then, Maybelline has refined his sound, blending old-school EBM with harsh industrial electronics and heavy guitar rhythms, all cloaked in his signature haunting vocals. His forthcoming new EP promises to push these boundaries even further. The first pressing of the EP, released by Fabrika Records, will be available in a limited edition of 500 copies in transparent bloody red with black splatter.

Pre-Order Here

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