Perturbator Reckons With Synthwave, Introduces 'New Model' On Surprise EP : All Songs Considered James Kent, whose music has evolved from sharp-edged synth raves to impressively dense electronic composition, has entered the next phase of Perturbator.
NPR logo Perturbator Reckons With Synthwave, Introduces 'New Model' On Surprise EP

Perturbator Reckons With Synthwave, Introduces 'New Model' On Surprise EP

Perturbator's new EP, New Model, comes out Oct.20. Metastazis/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Metastazis/Courtesy of the artist

Perturbator's new EP, New Model, comes out Oct.20.

Metastazis/Courtesy of the artist

New Model isn't just the title of Perturbator's new surprise EP, it doubles as the Parisian musician's reckoning with "synthwave," the retro-futurist style inspired by John Carpenter and Vangelis that he helped to pioneer. James Kent, whose music has evolved from sharp-edged synth raves to impressively dense electronic composition, has entered the next phase of Perturbator.

"New Model continues Perturbator's legacy of exploring the future," Kent writes in a press release, "but this future is one based in our own eerie reality and not the retro-futuristic fantasy explored on I Am the Night, Dangerous Days or The Uncanny Valley."

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"Vantablack" is the centerpiece of the new EP, a dank slice of industrial-pop. Right away, Kent's production is so dark that, like the color for which the track's named, it flattens reality in wobbly grime and beats that drill into the void. It calls to mind the sublevel dungeon textures of Nine Inch Nails, as "Vantablack" throbs with sinister temptation, given a creepy voice by guest "Jim" from the French electro band OddZoo. "The pulse in your throat / Beating faster now / Beating louder now / Beating faster now," he intones, as New Model's AI engages in some dangerous BDSM, to push the limits of its newfound human emotion.

"In short, the narrative puts the listener in the point-of-view of an omnipotent AI — the New Model — a piece of human technology so advanced that it transcends concepts such as life, death, time, space, sense or language," Kent says. "The New Model is everything and everywhere at the same time. It was created to help mankind and save it from war, disease, pain and mortality. This creates a paradox for the god-like AI, who understands the only way to prevent humanity from hurting or being hurt is to erase humans from existence."

New Model comes out Oct.20 via Blood Music.