♫♪  Flatliner - “Blasted Highway”

You wake up under a thick sheet of dust on the shoulder of the highway. You sit up and squint off into the distance, but you see nothing resembling a landmark in any direction. You better set out somewhere before the sun comes up or the ground will fry you where you stand. Just when you get to your feet, the roar of an engine cuts through the wind.

Like their fellow post-Carpenter cosmonauts on the Holodeck roster (see: S U R V I V E, Marie Davidson, BOAN), Flatliner channel the high-fidelity leads and percussive thumps of analog synth equipment into tight compositions that possess enough left turns to thoroughly mesmerize our increasingly deficit attention spans. The duo of Jesse Strait and Adam Fangsrud stand over their intricately interlaced machines, steering them through anthemic song structures whose verses and choruses never recur without a few extra layers of input to thicken their impact. While Davidson and BOAN lay lead vocals over their technoid sessions to spark them up to more and more maximal heights, Flatliner errs on the side of restraint. On “Blasted Highway,” premiering below, they pad their peaks with soft vocal murmurs that hang in the mix like Gregorian chants resonating across a wide, empty plain. The duo balances the subtle onset of these vocal moments with the increasingly brash entrances of lead voices that draw from a diverse tonal palette: thick and sustained sawtooth waves akin to G-Funk; sine wave sequences that quiver into view as filters loosen their grip; aggressive basslines that steamroll into the forefront of the mix when the other elements temporarily recoil. Crank the volume to catch all the details threaded into the production behind these leads as an evolving grid of electro percussion and occulted arpeggios.

You turn to find the source of the roar, but it’s too late. Some sort of sleek and silver craft has already passed by at a speed that makes you struggle to remember what exactly “mach” means. If you hear it first and see it later, that’s some kind of mach, you think. No one has a license plate anymore, but you imagine for a moment that you saw some words on the back of that thing, under what must have been some giant tail fin studded with red and purple lamplights. In letters pieced together ransom-note-style from the rusted marquees of various derelict roadhouses, it reads [BLACK MEDICINE EP - JULY 28]. In the apocalyptic wasteland, there is no limit to the length of your vanity plates.

• Flatliner: https://www.facebook.com/flatlineratx
• Holodeck: http://holodeckrecords.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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