Item number: TRI_605_CD
Date of issue: 26.01.2018
What is this thing we call life? Why do we cling to it so arrogantly, as if our lives had special meaning? How do we find our purpose? And why is it even important to do so, given when we return to the dust we came from after our brief time in the sun? No other electro project in recent years has addressed these elementary questions with such profound, intimate and moving force as Brooklyn's WE ARE TEMPORARY. It's little wonder that last year's debut album created such a stir in the dark music community. WE ARE TEMPORARY's Crossing Over was the start of a fascinating journey, a coming-of-age masterpiece about mortality, meaning, and meaninglessness. Now we know: this was only the beginning.
There is still heat under the embers: something smoldering below, a spark perhaps ready to erupt into flames at any moment. A new beginning. Embers, the trailblazing second release of electronic music sensation WE ARE TEMPORARY is the spark setting those embers aflame once more, making us realize just how precious life is. Where Crossing Over addressed questions of mortality, fragility, and the finite nature of time in heartbreaking fashion, Embers concerns itself with the consequences of those revelations. Yes, we will die. Yet, this is the best thing we could wish for. Only through death does life have meaning.
Once again, Mark Roberts wraps these fragile topics in a blanket of sound that couldn't be more thrilling, extravagant, or unique. With overflowing pathos and grandeur, he unleashes a synthetic alchemy: the elegiac profundity of MIND.IN.A.BOX and the radical visions of FKA TWIGS; the vibrant weightlessness of COVENANT and the dark shimmer of FEVER RAY; the throbbing pulse of SBTRKT and the detached nonchalance of DEPECHE MODE. This is not just another electronic music record. It is the zeitgeist, flirting with the best elements of the genre: Witch House, EDM, Trip-Hop, Dream Pop, NuGoth, Post Rock or old-school electro explode into one massive burst of emotion, creativity, and vibration. Above everything else, Roberts is showcasing just how organic this music can sound when allowed room to breathe. Be it field recordings of wildlife or sampled and scrambled sex sighs, his music turns bodies into instruments: WE ARE TEMPORARY isn't about music as entertainment. It is music is therapy. For himself, first and foremost, but for his listeners as well.
This, of course, is a painstaking approach, one with high stakes. Roberts is well aware of this. The appeal of this philosophical and therapeutic approach to music is to rely on it for personal understanding. To make sense of the sheer enormity of this weird thing we call life. It is about wrestling and rejecting blind hedonism and appreciating quiet moments. At times offensive and full of a darkly throbbing energy, at times in deep elegy, Embers oscillates between the sensual and the depressed. Never entirely dark, never entirely light: these songs are the seasons of our very existence, radiating hope despite the darkness around us. For those who choose to dive into the unique world that WE ARE TEMPORARY has created, there is little doubt they will surface a different person.