Phrenology is a rich mix of classic synth sounds, big beats, and darker samples. Disco, acid, and even avant-rock influences permeate the eleven tracks of intense electronica. The grit in the EDM machine.
This compelling album was written over the past two years, and despite its diversity, a theme dominates Phrenology: warped science. The title refers to the (now-discredited) idea that separate areas of the brain function differently and control specific emotional states; the skull was measured and codified according to the dominant ideology of the time. Just like medical quackery, Phrenology may initially sound clean and scientific, yet behind the precision is a freewheeling philosophy that’s tuned into club and bedroom sensibilities.
Phrenology’s opener ‘The Mono Sound’ sets the tone: splashes of electronic pop disrupt a more avant-garde aura. Standout track ‘Falcons’ also feverishly colours outside the pop lines, giddy with its own charm. Elsewhere, ‘Engage’ swells and sweeps, while ‘Broadsword’ solders together uncanny, almost malfunctioning, blisters of sound. Closing track, ‘The Monophonic Spree’ is the album’s most obvious Cold Wave moment, as electronic snowflakes flutter over a melodic soundscape.