Published on Sunday, 03 August 2014 20:13
Band: Laboratory 5
Album title: Awake In The Dark
Release date: 14 July 2014
Label: Sub Culture Records
01. Awake In The Dark
02. Sektor 7
03. Automatic (feat. Ion Plasma Incineration)
04. Sub Level 07
06. Toxic Asylum
07. Gravity Eraser
08. Into The Uknown
09. Ion Plasma Incineration – Survivor (Instrumental Lab5 RMX)
10. Awake In The Dark (Zone Tripper RMX)
11. Existence (grapeFruitBat RMX)
12. Automatic (feat. Ion Plasma Incineration) (Technomancer Extended Club RMX)
Can you imagine Ridley Scott taking upon Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? in our time at setting it at somewhere in the mid 3040's, incorporating huge, but very elegant CGI effects to it? Well let me tell you, if the movie adaptation of one of the most quintessential cyberpunk films would be taking place today, then Mr. Scott should definitely hire Laboratory 5 to do the original soundtrack.
UK based Max|Static and Norwegian electronic artist Technomancer teamed up already in 2010 under the name Laboratory 5 and released their debut Rise Of The Machines, with which they instantly set their signature drumstep meets sci-fi soundtrack sound. Now they’re back with full speed ahead and their second full length release, Awake In The Dark. With the radioactive green splash all over black background on the cover artwork they have already visually announced that what we’ll be riding through on this album is sick and incredibly toxic.
Imagine a wild crossover between dubstep, trance and industrial set in a dystopian futuristic landscape. Yes, that’s right – this is what I have been talking about at the beginning, the cyberpunk. Now if you are one of those people who gets a headache just reading the word dubstep, please, let me ease your mind – it’s not all that bad. I mean sure, KoRn’s attempt to go wild in The Path Of Totality was very nauseating, but when you know how to blend dubstep’s signature drum and bass beats with very well layered electronic melodies, adding slightly retro 80s vibe and some darker elements every now and then to create dynamic and atmospheric sound with it, it is actually a very well welcomed feature. And that is the absolute strength in Awake In The Dark. All these different elements create such wild journey: each and every song is so dense, yet the dynamics seems so effortless. The passages inside each and every track are so incredibly smoothly executed and held in perfect balance. "Existence" and "Sektor 7" are perfect examples of how highly intoxicating and up-beat melodies, which will give you a feeling you’re captured in future, fighting for your life (at least, if not for the existence of the planet as we know it), can at the same time create a profound and entrancing ambient. "Toxic Asylum" presents some nice darker features, which make it even a bit horror-esque. All in all, when giving this record a spin, you can vividly imagine how the slow-motion captions break with full speed ahead into some megalomaniac, massive crashes. A young and talented electro music artist and producer that goes by the name Ion Plasma Incineration also joined the Lab5 team and together they created a highly addictive, futuristic odyssey under the name "Automatic", which could be either a very wicked soundtrack song or a dance anthem at the dark electro club. "Sub Level 7" is also one of those danceable jewels, which will send a strange sensation through your nerves, signalling you to move your body.
"Replicants are like any other machine. They're either a benefit or a hazard. If they're a benefit, it's not my problem." (Rick Deckard)
This album is definitely not a hazard. The additional remixes don’t bring any additional value to it, but I’m sure they are a nice feature for the fans. Let me tell you, I enjoy experimenting in discovering new sounds and this is the furthest I have ever gone with electronic music, as I mainly enjoy my electronic beats as an addition to guitars and drums. But this release is so intelligent, vigorous and captivating that I - a sci-fi fan – was engulfed to the album’s atmosphere in a blink of an eye.
Review written by: Ines