I’ve been covering French synthwave master Perturbator for a while now, partially because he’s 100% relevant to horror fans but mainly because I absolutely adore his music. It’s a nostalgic blast of synth majesty that is married beautifully with modern sensibilities, resulting in music that honors the past while paving the way forward.
For those of you who don’t know, Perturbator is signed to Blood Music, who has a rather interesting take on how music should be released. The plan is simple: you can get the album as a Name-Your-Price model digitally on Bandcamp (ya gotta pay on iTunes and similar services) and/or you can pay for a physical copy, of which there are many. Interestingly enough, this seems to work exceedingly well as fans snatch up physical copies with an astonishing quickness, causing CDs, cassette tapes, and vinyl records to go out of stock within days, sometimes hours of being made available.
As for the digital freebie that is offered through Bandcamp, since it’s a Name-Your-Price model, fans have the opportunity to send a chunk of change if they feel it’s worth the cost. Maybe they don’t want to pay iTunes’ $6.99 pricetag but they’re totally willing to part with $5. They save a couple of bucks and the label/artist still get some money. There are also times when people will spend MORE than $6.99. These are the fans who recognize the vast amounts of work that goes into creating an album and want to reward such dedication and love.
Besides that, the fact that the album is technically free, piracy is heavily reduced because people can get high-quality downloads direct from the most trusted source imaginable: the artist. Such an offer is hard to refuse and it only helps with word-of-mouth marketing. Who can resist telling people about the awesome new album they got for free, right?
All of this combines into creating the juggernaut that is Perturbator, who a few years ago was a recognized name in a niche genre. However, that genre has exploded and Perturbator is one of the most acclaimed artists in that world, and for very good reason. If you need an introduction to his world, New Model is a fantastic place to start as it’s both his most accessible offering while also his most fascinating and mature.
“Birth of the New Model” opens the EP cinematically, aching pads calling out like sirens amidst sparkling and twinkling digital raindrops. “Tactical Precision Disarray” is as methodical and determined as the name suggests, shifting tempos mid-song so as to keep listeners on their toes. “Vantablack” is seductive and dark, unfolding like a future-noir mystery, each passage adding something previously missing, culminating in a delicious wave of driving pulsations. The fourth track, “Tainted Empire”, is the fastest and most aggressive track, its approach violent and in-your-face, resulting in a piece that is both imposing and awe-inspiring.
“Corrupted by Design” is pure goth dance club sexiness, sinuously weaving its way into your ears and ending with a sweeping and epic finale. The EP’s closing track, “God Complex”, is a 9-and-a-half minute mix of everything that the previous tracks have offered forth. It’s a statement of what was and what will be. This is Perturbator planting his feet firmly in the ground, ready to pounce forward at a moment’s notice. He’s showing us that whatever may come next, it will be as it has always been, a leap forward that will leave listeners in a state of awed disbelief.
Listen to New Model below and snag your copy at the link above.
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