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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

MiDi-BiTCH The Alienation of Contemporary Society (2022)

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

There are a lot of sci-fi movie music influences in this pretty solid album

1 Phase I 5:49

2 Phase II 4:21

3 Phase III 4:04

4 Phase IV 4:02

5 Phase V 4:54

6 Phase VI 5:49

7 Phase VII 4:13

8 Phase VIII 5:12

9 Phase IX 5:54

10 Phase X 4:34

11 Phase XI 4:00

(DDL 52:56) (V.F.)

(Sci-Fi movie music)

Fredy Engel, the man behind M!D! B!TCH, continues to fill the world of electronic music (EM) with his works where atmospheric phases are born and die in a fusion of electronic post-rock and industrial vapors. Very generous of his works, the German musician likes to offer them for free by giving codes to this effect on his Facebook page. An incentive to follow his activities! THE ALIENATION OF CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY is a concept album that describes the transformation of our society towards its alienation process. Offered in download format, his last opus proposes a good dystopian film music where the essences of Tangerine Dream's soundtrack universes mix with Jean-Michel Jarre's industrial rhythms and Vangelis' dark vision on his movie music such as Blade Runner. In short, a whole cocktail that makes us spend a pleasant 53 minutes of jittery rhythm on a good combination of percussions, whirring bass pulsations and a powerful and haunting bass structure. The rhythms are heavy in catastrophic visions which suits the concept of the album very well with an excellent vision of the sequencer which, combined with good percussion and seductive percussive effects, gives off a fine organic tone at times. Finally, the electric guitar textures soak us in a very Andy Pickford atmosphere in his good years of futuristic musical visions.

Phase I sets the mood with a cinematic opening heavy of its slow bursts of sounds. The orchestrations weave a movement of jerks with synth pads that fall by bumps. Gradually, the atmospherics give way to a stoic drum beat structure. Giving a heavier than lively rhythm with tinklings doing rodeo over an intense vision of futuristic catastrophe. Following the principle of minimalist structures, M!D! B!TCH adorns its music with sound effects and synth arrangements that give this catastrophic texture to the 11 tracks that arm THE ALIENATION OF CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY with a dystopian industrial vision. The use of voices and vocal effects add to this vision which takes on a more industrial character at times. A female voice recites a short text which initiates the evolutionary structure of Phase II and its more fluid rhythm with good undulation effects of the synthesizer layers. The structure is of the dystopian post-rock kind with a strong cinematographic essence in the arrangements. Overall, the tone is very dark with haunting cymbal clicks and a superb rolling of the sequencer balls that reminds of Chris Franke's signature. The structure features an atmospheric bridge built on percussive effects. This bridge leads to a phase closer to the apocalyptic visions of Vangelis, the tone is there, in a science fiction movie. Phase III proposes other vocal textures on a rhythm built on a form of interstellar gallop. The percussion and percussive effects are at the heart of its seductive elements. With its heavy pulsations that resonate like in the Revolutions universe of Jean-Michel Jarre, Phase IV is another futuristic electronic rock structured on very good percussions and also plaintive riffs and solos of a wild guitar. A big track that captures the attention from its first buzzing pulsations. The guitar is also present in the opening of Phase V and its waves which undulate under its riffs stretched in the form of short solos. Jarre's imprint, Rendez-Vous, is also omnipresent in the vocals. The track features a semi-formed rhythm that spins like a slow carousel of organic sequences under humming, swirling, spectral synth waves. Dystopian like in an Andy Pickford universe, the album Terraformer!

And a track like the slow, heavy, circular Phase VI sinks us further into this perception. In a futuristic blues ambience, the humming strains of the bass line and the gaseous effects of the percussive rattles are as seductive as the line of jerky sequences that girdle the movement like a flickering, strobe-like shadow. Speaking of circular waves scrolling by deafening strobe, Phase VII is of a rare rhythmic violence. Heavier and slower than its opposite, this rhythm encircles a sound slideshow that reminds us of that scene in the movie Terminator where cyborgs try to annihilate the human race. Structured on a bass line, Phase VIII takes us into a Latino sector of THE ALiENATION OF CONTEMPORARY SOCiETY. Phase IX survives on a line of deaf thumps and percussive clangs that run over an increasingly gripping structure. The synth layers have that weeping texture, while the more powerful ones generate a vision of the end of the world on a tangle of lines undulating like this lost look after a catastrophe. Fredy Engel surprises us with this piano line that introduces us to the slow rhythm of Phase X. The bass line grumbles on and on, supporting a sober percussion game and also those keyboard riffs that solidify the slow evolving texture, also propelled by the wind, of this very good track in this new MiDi BiTCH album. Tinkles abandoned to a circular structure radiate in the opening of Phase XI and its surges of THX sounds that contain a restrained fury. A dull clamor tries to ascend to our ears, while the tinkling finally sighs like those stars that change galaxy. From then on, a pulsating bass line redirects the structure of Phase XI into a spasmodic rhythm that refuses to spill over, concluding THE ALiENATION OF CONTEMPORARY SOCiETY in that heavy and circular rhythm structure that is the prerogative of a dystopian EM album where all scenarios are possible, depending on the imagination of the moment.

Do we want something else than Berlin School or atmospheric ambiences? M!D! B!TCH's music answers this need, without distancing us too much from it.

Sylvain Lupari (June 5th, 2022) ***¾**

Available at MiDi-BiTCH Bandcamp

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