Science fiction is life. Sounds a bit contradictory, but it’s true; the best fiction is truth, and the best science is experimentation. When I first listened to Agressor Bunx’s newest LP Properties of Addition I immediately transported back to my youth, sitting in the living room watching War of the Worlds (the original, not that piece of crap fluff film about running a marathon with screaming teenage angst that just happens to star inept Martians). Jaws. The day the Earth Stood Still (again, not the crappy remake). All things that made me want to be a writer and an educator came from watching stupid people being outsmarted by what they don’t understand. That’s what Properties of Addition is really about: escaping the mundane and the stupid and embracing the contradictory enigma that is science fiction.
Let’s take “The Offering” since it’s so aptly named. The first sounds are derived directly from your greatest nightmare of floating in an ocean as some massive creature stalks you. DA-DUM. DA-DUM. DA-DUM-DA-DUM-DA-DUM! You’re bitten by the beat and are starting to sink when the sounds of the Martians from War of the Worlds come launch their lasers through synthetic waves of pure bliss. Breathe, drop that bass, and move to the groove that is survival - because there’s only one truth here, and that is that you are the offering for the music, not the other way around. Pick this up and blare it. Just don’t bring your teenagers with you because trust me, they’re going to ruin the storyline.
“Radical Sound” is more of an arcade beat that builds pressure with its synths and slow bass beats. Sirens, blaring horns, and the single words, “Radical sound” - which is irrelevant, because this anyone who listens to this already knows this is a radical sound - bring this steady beat to the masses. This isn’t your traditional club beat, it isn’t ethereal god smack waiting to be accepted, and it doesn’t take prisoners. About half way into mix are some old school squelches and the pressure builds again at a second drop before once again reminding us that this is a radical sound. The squelches are so clean they almost talk to you, and the back and forth beats from one side of your ears to the other are like notes nocking on the side of your brain begging to be let in. I’m telling you: let them in. It’s a radical sound calling, and you need to answer.
I don’t know why anyone would think that the third title of this album is bleak, but none-the-less it is titled “Bleak Shadows.” This one has a peppy beat to it against the sound of effervescent horns and cymbals. I’m not entirely sure what the vocals are actually saying, but it doesn’t matter because it sounds like a snippet of an old school after school special, which is perfect because this has some great old school elements to it and there are some higher octave sounds mixed in that almost sound like children playing. The only part of this that sounds bleak would be the ending as it fades into an echo of horns that reminds me a bit of Firestarter. Okay, seriously, why do all of these songs remind me of movies that have terrible sequels or remakes? Maybe it’s a sign that the apocalypse is coming and our kids are faced with shoddy versions of the originals. Thank god they have drum and bass to guide them.
The last track is pretty amazing. “Ninja” is perfectly mixed to the sounds of jungle and hee-yaws to the point that I felt the terrible American dubbing swelling up in the background, but thankfully it never came. I will say that synths in this one sounded a bit like Lil John getting punched in the face (which is a great image by the way), but then when the first real drop happens we realize that there might just be robots involved as the drums and synths warp into a powering down sound. Did our ninja win? We quickly lean he did not, because what fun would that be? Thankfully we have more Lil Johns to fight because we aren’t ready for this one to be over! The synths pick up quicker and begin to sound like lasers firing and the drums pick up quicker to match our heartbeats as we dance the dance of war. The fading snare drums at the end are perfect, especially since the song just cuts off out of nowhere like a large question mark after the words “The End” to keep us wanting more.
War of the Worlds happens to be my favorite movie of all time, Jaws has me always making sure the boat is big enough, and Bruce Lee can beat Lil John up any day if it sounds like this. I have heard so many great albums in the last few months, but this one really gets me feeling nostalgic. It’s time to break out some Squirt and fade away as I put Agressor Bunx on repeat. Come join me, if you would, because Eatbrain has done it again and it’s available March 30th.