Deep Electro beats abound on Dallas, Texas based Electro outfit Cygnus début release. It’s the first release of new Sheffield imprint Central Processing Unit that joins the dots between B-Boy Electro and the myriad bass heavy electronic experimentalisms that have come out of South Yorkshire, from Cabaret Voltaire to LFO. Although American, Cygnus create a robotic, analog, groove that fits perfectly with a label based in the Steel City, with their album, titled Newmark Phase.
The album comes in two forms, a ten track digital release and a three track 12”. It’s hard to know what order to review the album in, as the tracklist is both in alphabetical order and numbered in binary, but the binary starts at 0000, or zero, for track number (we presume) one. So you end up with the eighth track on the album numbered 0111 (or seven), the ninth numbered 1000 (or eight) and the tenth 1001 (or nine). I think we’ll just stick with alphabetical for now…these crazy Electro kids these days, eh? So, the album kicks off with Atari Lovers and it’s the prefect introduction to what you’ll be treated to for the next hour. Deep kicks, snapping snares, robot rock beats and a sheer revelling in synthetic sounds. Most of the album revolves around old school Electro beats, layered with rich tones and atmospherics that are sometimes complimented, sometimes juxtaposed with gritty, piercing lead lines and ringing melodies. This is best exemplified on tracks like Bedroom Activities, Icasean Mutant Police or Red District Girls, but there are occasion when Cygnus veers off into Minimal Techno in the likes of Hungry DJs gets close to SynthWave on track such as the haunting District Nights. The title track is one of the standouts and available on both versions of the album, a machine led science fiction soundscape, evocative of urban dystopias. The combination of body pooping beats and strange, otherworldly melodies is at once both unsettling and comforting, like Incunabula era Autechre. Also one of the highlights is Private Feelings, a relentless yet warm analog workout and a joy for fans of synthesizer music. If you like your B-Boy Electro, or your atmospheric electronics, or happen to need a soundtrack for your dark future, then look no further and get your ears round Cygnus.
♫ Cygnus – Private Feelings
Cygnus’ Newmark Phase is released 24th September on vinyl and digital.
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