Sunday, 12 August 2012

More news from the 90s: Gatekeeper's 'Exo' goes back to the global decade

First published in Loud And Quiet

Hippos In Tanks

Gatekeeper's terrifying Giza EP from two years back instigated a revival of John Carpenter-esque horror soundtracks (see Xander Harris' Urban Gothic and Geoff Barrow's recent Drokk project), but now the Chicago production duo have binned the lightning strikes and campy synths for a bewildering onslaught of 90s sounds, from acid-fried techno to Spiral Tribe rave fantasies to the queasy digital dystopia of James Ferraro's Far Side Virtual. And weirder: a 'first-person gaming environment' has been designed as an add-on, which you can explore like those old CD-ROM adventure games.

If that sounds too sickly to be palatable, bear in mind that Ferraro is perhaps one of Gatekeeper's closest contemporaries – both produce a kind of conceptual meta-music, at once dated and futuristic, with something very real and very terrible to say about the digitally-enhanced, high-definition, hyperreal world we live in. Perhaps not an album to come back to regularly, but an essential listen for anyone interested in the not-so-danceable corners of dance music.