Album Review – Celldweller – Transmissions: Vol. 4 (2017)

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You Are Radio Transmission
, is a short interlude to the electronic instrumental album and the fourth installment of the Transmissions compilation. Intermixed with a digitized, repetitive statement of ‘Transmission, transmission’, and ‘you are radio transmission’, the track is jam packed with simplistic composition of lo-fi, glitch, and stutter. Underneath the layers, you can hear traces of established songs, and in this instance, Lost in Time found on End of an Empire (2015), which Vol. 4 primarily focuses. If you listen closely, at the time of ‘Transmission, transmission’, the voice is done to the synthesized and electro-rock beat and the vocalized intro of ‘Yeah, yeah’.  The Siren’s Lullaby (Heart On), as the title entails is an instrumental expansion of the track Heart On and it’s electronic introduction, sucking out the fast-paced, digitized guitars and the electronic-rock elements completely to focus on the complexity of the EDM segments, as well as adding new genres such as trance, psytrance and acid techno into the mix.

Pulse Projector is an energetic drum ‘n’ bass, dubstep and glitch fusion of the tracks Unshakeable and Down to Earth, from Wish upon Blackstar and End of an Empire, deliberately distorted and sped up. The soft ambient qualities are that of the Unshakable track, turning the lyrics of ‘Space and time’, and ‘Watching and waiting’, into a note of the electro arrangement, whilst Down to Earth can be heard in the chunkier, aggressive drops with metal guitar riffs, using the vocal delivery and its octaves of ‘It’s time for someone to bring you down to Earth’, as the formation of its robust nature.  Lifeforms – Mothers 32 Version is an up-beat electronica/indietronica remix of Lifeforms from Transmissions Vol. 3 (2016), as from what I observed in the review I made, it was a chill out, down tempo alteration of Unshakeable, which is a common theme in the Transmissions collection, as it is the epitome of  Wish Upon a Black Star (2012), and universe that is created because it is the conceptual lead in to what would become End of an Empire, as it explores the ‘three figures’ watching over the planet. 

Devilfish is an electro-industrial, techno and psytrance fusion of Heart On, Unshakable and if I can guess correctly, alt_Human from Circle of Dust’s Machines of Our Disgrace (2016), which clarifies to the listeners and fans of Klayton’s work that the dystopian universe of the unified human and artificial intelligence is connected to the Blackstar, Outland Industries and the planet of Atiria (where in Lost in Time’s official lyric video, reveals how life has resorted to cybernetic union to survive, thus the beginning of Atiria’s downfall). The scattered glitch replicating the heated, erotic heart beats of Heart On, but beneath this, the drum beat is that industrial intro into alt_Human, and the ambiance is that of the electronic Unshakable. All three separate tracks, lyrical content and textures collided into a night club friendly hit.  Endless Time (Precious One) is a lo-fi EDM reprise of the track Precious One, repeating the first few lines of the opening lyrics on an echoed loop, wrapped in a distinct effect to create white noise, as if the protagonist is completing their journey into the afterlife, after the end of the original track, once the Gatekeeper (Death) has collected their soul, and they’re hearing her comforting voice in a lucid state.

is a dark ambient, dark progressive techno and psytrance concoction, with accentuating twists of electro-industrial, which once again creates another re-imagination of Unshakeable, — and perhaps Eon submerged into the fray — this time focusing on the heavier moments (the rock/metal genres fixed in), and reconstructs them into variations of EDM and IDM, communicating explosively in unison. Gravity Well syndicates Lost in Time and Unshakeable into a lo-fi, glitch and electro house combination, and this track in particular has strong hints to a Daft Punk influence (Interstella 555, 2001 and Tron: Legacy (2010)) for the usage of futuristic samplings on synthesizers, with traits of retro/synthwave, cleverly linking to the Blackstar: The Original Score (2015), namely the track Retros, and the Scandroid project, comparable track Destination Unknown.

Lightrider is a glitch, ambient, acid techno and progressive trance union, with displaced distortion, stutter and orchestral synthesizers. Mingling amongst the fast paced, aggravated structure, there are the blueprints of Lost in Time, Down to Earth, and even Jericho (if you listen to the 8-bit version, found on the deluxe version of End of an Empire, and The Remixes). It’s the latter deduction that coincidentally leads into the following track, Planetfall. Planetfall contains the foundations of Down to Earth and Jericho in this dramatic, atmospheric space opera, which chains dark ambient, static, progressive trance and beat.

Birthquake is a jittery combination of dark ambient, glitch, drum ‘n’ bass and tribal, again using Unshakeable as its outline . Intermittently, there is an alteration of the synthesizers, which is jested to be replicating a voice speaking foreign tongue trying to be passed through; it sounds desperate, saddened, implicating that further attempts of communication were left unanswered; which must be significant for the second to last track is named Last Transmission from Titan. This instrumental stirs up the genres dark ambient, progressive trance and white noise to emphasis the named protagonist is losing hope, and thus the transmission is deliberately monotonous, illustrating to the listeners that Titan is metaphorically and literally dying, having used up all of its energy to seek contact and got nothing in turn.

Sanctuary the last track of the album aurally paints a heart broken state of affairs, the creator of the transmissions, Titans now lying dormant, and its state is morphed musically into that of a dark ambient, chill out EDM track, accompanied by indietronica piano notes. The direction of this is both tragic, witnessing the mourning of lost opportunities, yet soothing as it concludes the album with the lulling sound of the sounds of space, undisturbed by artificial lifeforms and background noise.

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