Review: Broken Thoughts – Realign

coverSomething is waking up. Realign conjures the twitching of fingers coming into consciousness, or the blurred sights of recalibrating eyes, or those deep, galvanising breaths taken prior to the first physical movements of the day. Rhythms emerge as expectant flickers and lurching, part-built electronic loops, while drones roll in like waves of dry ice. The creaks of doors reactivating their stiff, long-dormant hinges. I hear the clunks and hammers of factory assembly. The beeps of self-activating machinery. Yet there’s also the sense that something terrible is imminent. The music is rife with ticks and skitters that flinch anxiously, goaded into a state of survivalist high-alert by the bass frequencies that churn, like disaster coming to boil, deep beneath the beats. The catastrophe itself never arrives and it doesn’t have to; instead, Realign exists in a state of persistent escalation, forever renewing its vague prophecy into a more profoundly unsettling form, concealing its most unwholesome imagery within the ever-thinning margins of absence and restraint.

So much of this record is implied and never physically delivered. The “melodies”, if one could even term them as such, are skeletal fragments that beg for embellishment: pianos slumping spaciously between three notes, synthesiser lines unfurled into clouds of vague shape, harmonies that mimic bagpipes pitched down by a laconic two octaves. Each track is a sentence unfinished; a half-thought rolling off the edge of an ellipsis…an invite to mine the unfathomable depths of shadowy insinuation. While the theme of the album is never explicitly stated, I’m often carried into thoughts on the imminent sentience of Artificial Intelligence: the potential consequences, both wonderful and unsettling, of robots that transcend their dependence on us. All the while, Realign is awakening itself, with life-force crystallising between the regulatory beeps and whirrs of hydraulic limb, outstretching into an ominous unknown.