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Spiral: Machine (A Sci-fi Soundtrack by Spiral)

Machine was the third album from Spiral and an album that stands alone from the rest of the band's catalogue. Why? Well, because it is a soundtrack to a film that was never made, but which was to be based on one of their own albums. That album was Citizen, which saw the light of day shortly before this offering, a record based on the story of a society where a machine manages all of society, providing and caring for their every need. The Machine also gives us work to do, nothing too important, but a task that feels vital, stacking boxes all day long for no other reason that they need stacked. The nightshift on the other hand come in and undo all of that work, ready for the original crew to blissfully begin all over again the next day, with the machine controlling this never ending spiral of unaware contentedness. When the pair of Chris Boat and Aaron Frale were approached to make this concept into a film and to provide the soundtrack, the idea was to view the story from the perspective of the machine, with the pair immersing themselves in vintage sci-fi and soundtrack music to get a true feel for their task. Because of this, mowhere in evidence are the long sprawling doomful passages of drone with a purpose, which deals out relentlessly rewarding gloom. In its place arrive eleven short tracks that you can almost feel moving the story along. Vocals do come into play, with screams, spoken word and, unsurprisingly, mechanical noise all adding to a space-age vibe that leans on the intentionally repetitive themes Spiral do so well. However Machine adds an almost electro-pop edge in places, with the atmosphere expanding outward from the usual uplifting despair this duo serve up.

The only additional guest on this album is violin player Felicia Karas, who adds texture in a few unobtrusive places, while shining brightly and proudly on the wonderful "Venus Rising". However for the large part this is instrumental work that, once you know the background, clicks into place like, well, neatly stacked boxes.

An interesting aside from Spiral, Machine is a worthy exercise that shows that this band could easily operate in this area of musical construction again if requested. However as an example of what they do best, I'd advise you start with one of their other, more representative albums, with Mind Trip In A Minor (an album that apparently took its inspiration from a song title first used here) being my top recommendation.


Track Listing
1. Opening Credits
2. A Citizen's Dream Of Freedom
3. Scematics Of A Perfect World
4. Machine
5. Never Alone
6. A Child Is Lost
7. Do Androids Dream Of Lost Citizens?
8. Venus Rising
9. A Robot And A Human Converse (In A Minor)
10. The Plans
11. Fails

Added: December 13th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Spiral at BandCamp
Hits: 1060
Language: english

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