It’s impossible not to evoke the overpopulated futuristic cities that we see in Japanese cartoons: human-looking androids with synthetic movements, strange rust-covered vehicles lifting off in Shibuya, genetically-modified cats that change the colour of their fur, telepaths floating in urns in government building to detect quantum terrorists … It’s amazing, as long as you like futuristic epics, cosmic sounds, the books of Paolo Bacigalupi, apocalyptic anime, “Blade Runner”, Katsuhiro Otomo and the holy mother who gave birth to all of them on Alfa Centauri.
Who is Eprom? Only a name (Alexander Dennis) and a stream of stuttering 12”s and EPs that give us clues about his personality (and also a brutal session for this publication’s series of mixes). But it doesn’t make any sense to investigate his passport or other ID. Do we ask ourselves about the identity of a chip or a program? All that matters is what it does, and what this West Coast (Bay Area) beat-maker does is amazingly fresh, innovative and stimulating. Mathematics is twisted in this prodigious album, providing a new vision of the future beat universe. When it was looking like California psychedelics held no surprises for us anymore, Eprom found a new landscape to mine: bounce sounds, video console hip hop, fat post-dubstep, cosmic bass, baroque IDM, pure software electronics. In summary, the music that we would hear piped-in to the lift at Tessier-Ashpool.
The sub-bass snakes around under its own power, on an industrial stage that reminds one of the threatening cities of “Ghost In The Shell”. The synthesizers are also important: small patches that rain on the listener’s brain, stimulating different areas of the cortex at the same time. The production is another outstanding feature: each track is a sea of electrons banging together and shifting at impossible speeds. Subatomic effects, the sounds of an old computer, videogame noises, space clicking, silicon bubbles. On this base, Eprom shapes a world of viscous electronica and mercurial beats that yours truly had never seen in the cosmos.
“Raytracing” is an epileptic seizure in the form of glutinous, Cubist dubstep, with plenty of uneven ground and traps. “Floating Palace” moves at a frequency that delicately perforates your eardrums, with microscopic cascades of Gameboy sounds, extraterrestrial buzzing, and sub-bass that makes your jaw tremble. “Sun Death” is post crunk mixed with narcotics synthesized in another dimension. “Can Control”, with an overwhelming Cali Swag District voice sample, is a deformed hip hop, dancehall and grime banger that trails around like a boa constrictor hunting guinea pigs. I see it more clearly all the time: Eprom is an artificial intelligence that has become aware and discovered music as a way to get into our brains and leave orders buried under layers and layers of digital melodies. Tremble with fear, bastards!