The Peruvian electronic music ensemble Theremyn_4 has just unveiled their tenth studio album, Art, Noise + Speed. This release marks a pivotal progression in their musical journey, spanning over two decades, where they have successfully melded eclecticism with a steadfast artistic vision.
In the five years since their previous studio album, Lost Moments, Theremyn_4 has sustained an energetic musical output. Their discography has been enriched with the reissue of their inaugural albums, Fluorescente verde en el patio and Mi vida en infrarrojo, each accompanied by an abundance of additional tracks. Their creative portfolio also includes a series of music videos, remixes, and two singles, all serving as precursors to this latest album.
Art, Noise + Speed is further augmented by collaborations with a roster of distinguished artists. Among them are Paul “Bee” Hampshire, the renowned vocalist from Getting The Fear; Nicolas Miranda and Lu Falen, both valued contributors and current members of the live lineup; Joao Villacorta, lending his expertise in post-production and recordings; and Joni Chiappe, an illustrious Peruvian musician who tragically passed in late March.
In the creation of their latest album, Theremyn_4 has elegantly woven in influences from seminal new wave and progressive music luminaries, including Peter Gabriel, Japan, Getting the Fear, Gang of Four, The Fixx, and King Crimson. Drawing from these iconic touchstones and more, the band has crafted an auditory experience distinct from their earlier compositions.
Art, Noise + Speed delves into a rich palette of themes, nodding notably to avant-garde art movements of the early 20th century – particularly Italian Futurism and German Expressionism. Beyond the confines of visual art, the realms of cinema, literature, and architecture have also lent their essence, enriching the band’s creative canvas.
“I started working this album in 2020 and I have been shaping the tracks and the concept of the album influenced in part by “new” music (so in quotes) because there is so much material online that you can discover new worlds in the 70s or 80s,” muses Jose Gallo. “This album has also been influenced by the “band” format we have been doing live shows for the last few years. For example in songs like Neon Sun/Neon Man or Nazca Slow Cowboy. Reading about art, music and history has been an endless source of inspiration for me for quite some time now.”
The record commences with Nazca Cowboy, a kaleidoscopic number reminiscent of Madchester vibes — notably echoing the likes of Happy Mondays, but with a nod to the electro-centric Super Furry Animals. The esteemed Paul Bee Hampshire graces the track with his presence. As the album progresses, Notre Dame, Pt I emerges, drawing parallels with the synth motifs reminiscent of The Units’ High Pressure Days. When combined with Krautrock influences and a touch of spoken word, it crafts a compelling auditory narrative. Next comes two synth instrumentals: Street Girl Ethos and Air Giants, both poetically weaving Hertz tones into gorgeous tapestries of sound.
Art Stealers showcases the vocals of Lu Falen, whose timbre evokes reminiscences of Trent Reznor. Anchored in an 80s synthpop rhythm, the track offers a modern flair, while its rhythmic repetition invites both dance and recognition. Gallo draws inspiration from the drama of the theatre, the pulsing energy of New York City, and the nuanced realm of artistic appropriation via sampling.
After the initial tracks, the record flows into another instrumental piece, Dry Season, which offers a fusion of funk with an atmospheric, almost celestial, ambiance. Then Neon Sun/Neon Man takes center stage, exuding an immediacy in its tempo that crescendos into a rousing chorus, as if beckoning the listener into its narrative embrace. Subsequently, Notre Dame Pt II emerges, offering a contrasting vibe. This piece resonates with a more laid-back, serene aura, providing a gentle decrescendo from the album’s preceding energy and guiding the listener through a soothing interlude. To round off this musical odyssey, the album gracefully circles back with Nazca Slow Cowboy, a collaborative piece that serves as a fitting conclusion. This track sees the return of Paul “Bee” Hampshire and also features the poignant contributions of the late Joni Chiappe, ensuring a resonant closure to the album’s intricate tapestry of sounds.
Listen to the album below:
Art, Noise + Speed is already on all digital platforms has a limited edition on CD (available worldwide through shop.hypersfera.com).
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