Review: Strangerous – Death By Anticipation


“Everything needs to change. Everything needs to change.” With each loop of the spoken sample, the sentiment drains out of the statement. Each sound on the opening 17-minute piece is inducted into a tight, manic orbit of endless repeating. The falsetto voices start to pulse like a siren, static arrives in recurrent blasts, and the tinkle of chimes lose their idling charm as they’re forced round in circles. Another voice cuts in, seemingly from a news report – “climate change is already affecting millions of lives” – as the loops start to jostle and multiply, crammed into a zone of both heightening urgency and mundane familiarity. Human screams gush through the margins, thickening as the piece continues. As the music presses into cacophony, the demand for change turns stagnant – no longer the precursor to action, but a habitual vocalisation divorced from meaning.

Elsewhere, repetition is wielded as an adhesive-by-force: a brute means of fusing together the sound of footsteps on snow, disturbed metal surfaces and the blast of cooling fans, severing the umbilical connection between sound and its source context. These samples become splatters of self-reference. What they gain in multi-functionality – sonic wildcards without weighty allegiances to landscape and material – they shed in real-world familiarity. Recurrence renders them uncanny. Voices adopt the disembodied texture of pure sine tones; the rattle of plastic starts to resemble chattering teeth. The sounds accrue a dull-heat intensity as the mind struggles to place them, twisting the listener into a paradox of becoming both acquainted and alienated, pulling them into a buzzing, insidious greyscale trauma as the music churns like a horrid machine.