Listen: anxiety machine - 'have you heard this before i think they call it jazz'
'Listen' is our way of cutting to the chase, we give you the ramble on a track, you listen to it and then promptly fall in love with the album.
Anxiety Machine is a seemingly off-the-cuff side-project headed up by AJJ (fka Andrew Jackson Jihad) cellist Mark Glick. Announced by a single tweet from the man himself, it certainly arrived with little to no fanfare. And, yet the lo-fi, modest, ambient electronica found on i am not entirely sure what i'm doing but i'm doing it anyway feels like something really rather special.
Opener, 'have you heard this before i think they call it jazz' is indicative of the record's appeal. Resembling the score to a long-forgotten 8-bit video game it has a uniquely nostalgic, deeply human warmth. This fidgety and minimal soundscape is certainly reminiscent of work from artists like Tycho or possibly El-Ten Eleven. Indeed, the soft buzzes and bleeps found on 'have you heard this before i think they call it jazz' (and elsewhere on this debut) have a timbre analogous to some of the best melodic post-rock, though figured by distinctly more robotic apparatus.
Having been "written and recorded mostly in a moving vehicle from January 2017 - June 2017" there's evidently a nimbleness to this collection of songs. It must also be mentioned that there's some pretty terrific title track names, the warm hums from 'it’s raining all the time but sometimes it’s not raining all the time' feel like shelter from the storm whereas the aptly forlorn 'riding a bike on drugs at 2 am' and 'it’s probably going to be ok at worst' illustrate a somewhat darker tonal shift.
The title tracks are certainly reflective of a a specificity found in these small, emotive pieces, and especially on 'have you heard this...' that makes them far from purely soundtrack material. Indeed doubt may be a recurring theme found across this unassuming work and even project name, but this is an assured, stirring set of compositions that finds humanity in the machines.