Cincinnatian poster-boy and cyberpunk enthusiast AndaruGO released ‘CONSPIRACY SECTOR’ this weekend. Marking his fourth release, this concept album based on data collection, the internet and our reliance and willingness to be involved in both builds on the tomes of LSDJ knowledge from the past whilst injecting sensibilities of his own. Stripping abstract and ambiguous conceptual thematics aside however, ‘CONSPIRACY SECTOR’ shines in a scene which is bloated to the point of eruption with repetitive LSDJ offal.
‘CONSPIRACY SECTOR’ is built around songs without rigid structures, though that’s not to say they aren’t without direction. Each track’s constantly shifting harmonies and driving percussion keep everything sounding tight whilst it floats through a wash of motifs and shoutable anthems. ‘CYBER MINDER’ moves from intense rave phrases into even more intense trance-esque flurries before finally rearing its head back to spit out huge melodies and even larger rhythms. ‘LIARS’ meanwhile kicks the cyberpunk (or datawave) dial to 10, a vestibule of ravaging beats and lump-in-the-throat melodies before it rolls itself into melancholic bliss.
The percussion also deserves highlighting. The beats at the helm of ‘DATA DEALERS’ saunter whilst remaining aggressive and on the opening of ‘DEVILS’ they move from violent groove to an even more violent furore. ‘MUNGEN’s percussion keep the pulsating bittersweet space motifs cruising, and lends the release its perfect closing. The only thing that keeps 'CONSPIRACY SECTOR' held back is the sometimes disappointing production, which hinder ‘DEVILS’ and ‘DATA DEALERS’ especially. Furthermore, whilst the freeform structure works in most cases, ‘DATA DEALERS’ feels like it loses its way; its over-repetitive beats cause it to stutter around the halfway point and it never recovers. Also, with regards to some of the instruments; it’s been about 5 years, can LSDJ programmers give those Nullsleep sounds a fucking rest please?
So; it’s not perfect but it’s pretty damn close. AndaruGO once again excels on the emotional front; almost every melody reeks of heartfelt sincerity and connects with more than just a sense of harmony. The tighter tracks help elevate ‘CONSPIRACY SECTOR’ well above any of his previous works, and alongside some of the biggest beats to be pushed out of a Gameboy and melodies lauding the history of chiptune, AndaruGO has excelled beyond his peers more confidently than ever.
Favourite track: CYBER MINDER
Grab the release for free here.