Mechatronic – Dystopia | Review by Vox Empirea

Year 2002, in Uppsala, Sweden, Wilhelm Äretun (vox / programming) and Emma Hortlund (lyrics / synths) generated Mechatronic, a project whose musicality originally combined EBM / synthpop / futurepop elements of particular interest to the alternative electronic-dancers and lovers of technological North-European sounds, a scene into which the two performers they effortlessly move as good organizers of live-sessions and theme events, during which the duo manifests its maximum potentials animated by the excitement proclaims “alive and kicking machinery music”. Starting and considering the details of their early sonic compositional structures, we can notice that Mechatronic’s style is partially modified, granting greater spaciousness to the electronic pop, minimizing inputs from ‘electronic body music’, all this until the achievement of a more lithe mixture, rich in melody and renewed danceability. The first discographic appearance of the platform was “Mind Control”, a 2005 self-released digital EP containing four explicitly EBM-synthpopish songs, among which there was a nice remix of Torny Gottberg, from the electronic-act Swedish Project-X, and a fifth video track. This release was followed by the debut-album “Promises From The Past”, or twelve tracks in style EBM / electro / synthpop issued in 2003 by the own label founded by Wilhelm and Emma, SpaceLab Records. By the subsequent record contract signed in 2011 with the Italian home Space Race Records (SRR), Mechatronic succeeded to publish the full-length “Dreams”, in which its eleven episodes stood out a remix created again by Project-X and a second one by the Norwegian electropop / futurepop band called Spektralized. “Dystopia” is then the new album chapter available in digipak and distribuited in 2014 by the same Space Race Records: its tracklist includes twelve songs which further refine the typical electronic / synthpop concept of the two musicians, always through harmonious, capturing vocalizations firmly connected at frequencies of drum-programming designed for futuristic dances and at radiant decorations of keyboards. “Falling Apart”, the opener, immediately creates ‘very-clubby’ formulations using open vocals of Wilhelm at their best and the captivating vitality of electro-pop / futurepop reproduced by machines, from which they profusely gush pour midtempo drumming and the irresistible synth punctuations by Emma. In the subsequent “Endless Search For Something” the vocalist spreads a well modulated and intriguing chant, while the keyboardist constructs chords and short melodies that merge themselves with the bass-lines and sharp sequenced midtempo subdivisions. “Don’t Bother To Knock” is a danceable futurepop / synthpop also planned on pulsing midtempo beats that give dynamism and fullness to the fascinating keyboard, all this enhanced by the Wilhelm’s singing, whose brilliant inflections greatly amplify the forcefulness of this song. More kinetic, the homonymous “Dystopia” is an electropop / futurepop ride built by uptempo drum-beats and keyboard accompaniments that make more intense the enthralling vocal-sections, while the electropopish diagram of the next “Niagara” immediately captures and incites us to dance through functional melodic synth, by the handsome midtempo drum-programming and the shining chant, in a song that is one of the most quotable from this album. The thunderstorm sampling audible in the introduction of “Trapped In A Nightmare” announces a ‘very danceable’ electropop / synthpop made of persistent uptempo drum-beats, emerald keyboard fluorescences and solid vocal tones, all this prior to the compactness of “Sinister”, a formidable dance-oriented electropop emphasized and speeded up by pneumatic uptempo drum-programming on which it develops a captivating synth / vocal scheme, in a set of electronic and percussive harmonic fervor, for a song perfectly integrable in the playlist of alternative techno-dj’s. The melancholic electropopish quietness that sweetens “Beyond The Silence” is the result of the interaction between apollonian pads plus a mathematically slowed drum-sequencing put in synergy with the nostalgic voice of Wilhelm, while the following “Broken Promises” radiates an exciting futurepop-sound vaguely similar to that one of the more melodic and danceable S.P.O.C.K. in which the vigor of singing and the intermittent midtempo drumming are mixed with he fluidity and brilliance of keyboard. In the same way of the previous track, “Vicious Words”, incorporates high levels of danceable pop-futuristic rhythmically built by cadenced vocals, symmetric midtempo replications of drum-machine and by sequencing, on which Emma creates her articulated synth textures. The impetus of uptempo drum-programming, the brightness of keyboard and the glittering chant of Wilhelm they originate the futurepop substance of “This Moment”, another track proposable with success in every electro-dancehall, against which it opposes a cold, mechanical downtempo drum-machine and ‘male-female’ vocal-sampling of the closing track, “Dying Together Is not Going To Solve Anything”. By the album “Dystopia” Mechatronic directly points to their full triumph, through songs in which they alternate clear voice, catching keyboard emissions and super-drumming at variable bpm’s speeds, for a sound electronically amiable and generous with energy. In the twelve tracks analyzed by Vox Empirea, we can distinguish features of immediate freshness and a lot of music aesthetics, but never too much scientific or too much intricated, a sodality between sound progress and melody that will be particularly appreciated by that vast range of listeners favorable to the more instantaneous electro-entertainment. Mechadance + Mechafun = Mechatronic.

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