Boomkat Product Review:
DJ Food and Saron Hughes team up as Celestial Mechanic to recreate a record described in a fictional review that appears in ‘Citizen Void,’ a novel by Rian Hughes. NGL it’s a bit of an inception like headfuck to write up, but we’ll suffice it to say it’s a pulpy concoction of soundtrack synth styles and psychy library grooves that may appeal to Shane Carruth and Christopher Nolan fans
“Boffin popsters Celestial Mechanic are not known for making things easy for themselves or their listening public, and their new album Citizen Void is no exception. While we are welcomed in with the early promise of something that might actually resemble a good old-fashioned tune, the album seems to have been arranged according to difficulty, like an algebra exam where the simpler questions up front lull you into a false sense of security before you turn the page and – pow – get bitchslapped by the more advanced stuff overleaf.
Celestial Mechanic’s last album, Comfortably Violent, was lauded in more esoteric music circles as a thoughtful examination of the commodification of filmic body-horror imagery and our consequent inability to process the true horror of terrorist videos – in other words, inured by the over-the-top theatricality of modern special effects, the real thing has become almost prosaic. Comfortably Violent, perhaps unsurprisingly, failed to make an impression on the wallets or whistles of the general public. Comparisons to Autechre and Aphex Twin, 1970s Krautrock, or even Charles Mingus at his most experimental do little to convey the truly visceral experience; however good a review, it’s not the same thing as letting the needle hit the vinyl. Music journos, including myself, take note: the description of the thing is not the thing itself.
Citizen Void, however, may be – whisper it – a breakthrough in the form. That this is a move into more abstract territory is telegraphed by the sleeve – row upon row of binary digits set in 4 point, an exercise in postmodern typographic austerity so devoid of any recognisable human touch that it makes your Manila medical file look like a psychedelic Fillmore West gig poster with the saturation turned up to eleven.”