As a kid growing up in the 90s, my mom forbade my sisters and me from watching MTV. I was a good Christian boy, so I heeded her warning…most of the time. In one moment of weakness at a friend’s house, I peeked in on his older brother watching the Verboten channel late at night.
I don’t remember what was playing—I just remember the frightening clang of violent drum machines, the mechanical pulse of bass, harsh stabs of saw waves, and vocals that sounded nothing like I had ever heard before, set to violent or sexy images. I quickly withdrew, fearing that somehow my mom would find out that I crossed the line in the proverbial sand. But I was fascinated by what I saw. The chaotic machinery of the electronic instruments rattled around my head for days.
It was the first time I ever felt that music could be dangerous. And in the first few seconds of Preparing Singularity, Transhuman Rebirth brought me back to that moment.
“Transhuman Rebirth” is the perfect name for this kind of music. The only semblance of humanity is Ben Bloodygrave’s voice, but even that is raspy and shouted in monotone, as if some supercomputer was in place of his brain and was clumsily using his vocal cords to deliver its demands. The electronics are stark and monochrome, delivered with a robotic lack of subtlety.
In some ways, it reminds me of what it might sound like if the robots that made Kraftwerk’s Man-Machine led a violent uprising. At its core, this record can trace its lineage back to the German electronic pioneers—especially on tracks like “Synthetic Drugs.” But that bloodline has been mingled through the generations with traces of Suicide, Nine Inch Nails, and a steady diet of dystopian sci-fi. If the machine uprising is coming as soon as a certain Google engineer seems to think it is, Preparing Singularity is just in time to provide the soundtrack.
Preparing Singularity is out now through Possession Records.