Graham Scala and Ian Miller — of Bleach Everything, US Christmas, and Interstitia; and Kowloon Walled City, Strangelight, and Less Art, respectively — joined together to craft dance-oriented electronica tunes under the moniker of Collapse Culture, and now, they’re releasing their self-titled debut full-length album via Pax Aeternum on Jan. 29. The music features billowing clouds of tension, building a kind of mentally-oriented dance feel, as if internally combing through a haze of emotions and memories while outwardly moving along with the swirling beats.
Get a first listen below to “Dead Channel,” a brand new single from Collapse Culture.
The track opens with a warmly pulsating, simmering synth rhythm that feels ominously expansive, like distorted streaks of light flashing across a nighttime sky. As the track approaches the one-and-a-half minute mark, the duo’s intensity picks up, with a feeling of unease suddenly building within the experience of the music. With a fluttering of sharp tones arriving in the mix, the song’s breadth grows, as if slowly expanding the track’s view as surroundings seem to suddenly unnaturally contort under the effects of reality-obscuring mental malaise.
The track’s latter half feels overtly danceable, with a breathably brisk pace in the still warmly reverberating synths, but the feeling of an ominous presence within the track doesn’t vanish. The tension doesn’t really break. The combination of tense unease with the shimmering synths skipping along like rocks across a murky pond makes the song feel subtly cathartic and effervescent, like a mental purification session. The music poignantly reflects that complicated emotional space in which embedded emotional toxins and exhaustion intermingle with a push forward.
“‘Dead Channel’ was our attempt to come out swinging with a style both of us enjoy but neither of us ever tried our hand at,” Scala says. “We recorded the album in our houses in the early days of lockdown as a distraction from a time in which everything seemed to take on a terrifying intensity. Listening to it now, it seems relevant not only to the chaos of that moment in time but also the residual echoes that will continue to be with us for some time to come. But like William Gibson, who once said he didn’t consider the dark futurism of his novels to be truly dystopian because they still imagined humanity having a future at all, we hope that our approach is sanguine enough not to seem defeatist or overly bleak.”
Pre-order Collapse Culture at this link.