Review: perkXsoundlabs “String Theory”
perkXsoundlabs “String Theory”
Arizona-native, perkXsoundlabs (a.k.a. Paul Rolan Perkes), challenges the electronic status-quo with an inventive, spacey, and futuristic concoction of instrumental chiptune music. Chiptune music is a type of electronic music that is synthesized and produced with sound chips characteristic of video game consoles, arcade machines, and old computers. However, perkXsoundlabs incorporates a plethora of electronic wizardry and dance-laden percussion with beats that can ignite the dance floor of any club or starship enterprise.
“March Of The Higgs Boson” opens with a rap-type instrumental segment with symphonic noise that is highly synthesized in a cinematic manner with horn-like sounds and a militaristic, marching tone. The percussion is metallic, swishy, and relatively persistent with little change throughout. The victorious music is instrumental, electronic, and purely satisfying without any negative side effects.
“The Strong Force” begins with a steady laser-like, electronic display of dance-infused embellishments. The percussion picks up with stellar atmospheric washes and muted, quirky metallic tones. At times, the music is buzz-infused and jingly, but there is a strong electronic music presence without vocals. There are dozens of types of swirling, gurgled, and gritty noises that are cohesive and enthralling. The final lines contain a slightly slurpy-sounding dance beat that pulls away from the rest of the song.
“Supersymmetry” begins with blurby, bass-infused electronic vibes and a swift, cascading electronic wash. An upbeat synthesizer and tight percussion set provide a meteor-shower-like display of electronic sounds backed by a dance beat. The metallic clangs and buzzes are video-game incarnations with a general focus that moves into a frenzied dance medley that could be appropriately labeled: intergalactic dance music. The end of the song contains sonar echoes, rain-like rustling, and a few electronically-imbibed notes.
“Brane Worlds” opens with a few rustling, metallic washes and laser-like inclusions with bubbly notes from a synthesizer. However, the first sign of rock music is found in the electric guitar-like sounds that merge into a general electric guitar solo. The percussion is clearly rock-infused, as the electronic sounds of other songs take a back seat for most of the song. Though, the rock guitar wanes near the end of the song to allow the bird-like synthesizer sounds to fill in the background.
“Gravity” contains rippling sounds and a spacious dance beat with horn-like buzzes and swishy percussion. There are angelic background chorals and electronic whizzes. Mid-song, laser-like noises and futuristic whirrs signal a space dance anthem without rock guitars, vocals, and bass. Still, this song represents a good mix of beats, sounds, and engaging noises without compromising quality.
“Spacetime” opens with an angelic display of electronic washes that seem to blend together. A few electronic whirrs and a pulsating dance beat combines with trippy noises and fast-played synthesizer notes to create one of the best songs on the album. The rapid synth sounds are so fast the percussion cannot keep up, which results in a static noise. The noise almost cuts the full notes off a micro-second too soon, but the song is compelling, nonetheless.
perkXsoundlabs is not about conformity or flashy vocals. The sixteen songs represent a vibrant array of chiptune, trance, space, and electronica-driven compositions with a powerful and magnetic appeal. The music traverses interplanetary spaces with dance elements and Tangerine Dream-like nuances. The upbeat, contemporary, and creative music is named for physics-related terminology. In fact, String Theory describes eleven dimensions in a world held together by vibrating strings, which encompasses weak and strong forces, electromagnetism, and gravity. In effect, perkXsoundlabs bridges the gap between space music and dance without any hiccups. The music is moving, authentic, and cinematic…at least in this dimension.
Review by Matthew Forss
Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5)