Anxiety Machine - More Everything
Anxiety Machine's superb debut EP was exactly the third thing we wrote about on this website. Resembling the score to a long-forgotten 8-bit video game, we called it, "an assured, stirring composition of ambient electronica that finds nostalgic warmth in the machines". You can read about here, and here on our best of 2017.
Now, the project returns with five more songs entitled, More Everything.
For Fans of Tycho, El Ten Eleven, and Darn Good Music.
Strictly speaking we didn't exactly realise we needed more music like Mark Glick's yearning, off-kilter Anxiety Machine. This is in the same way that we didn't realise we wanted to fall into a rabbit-hole (or rather a pixelated vortex) of Japanese ambient music thanks to a superb essay from Fact Mag, regardless, it wasn't until after the fact we realised we needed it so much. Like music from Hiroshi Yoshimura or even the tired lamentations from Lonely Korea on Excited, it's art like this - that so curiously scratches an undiscovered itch that remains so immediately fascinating to us.
That's not to say to say Anxiety Machine's brand of ambient electronica is particularly highfalutin, in fact it's far from it. More Everything is an incredibly accessible, stirring set of songs that purr brilliantly alongside everyday life - though it's infinitely closer to a soundtrack than a background. Indeed, the ineffably warm bleeps and buzzes of i am not entirely sure what i'm doing but i am doing it anyway are still ever present, though the scale and size of the fuzzy screen may have increased in scale somewhat.
On 'Broken Idiot Seeks Same' this translates with beautiful, aching strings accompanying the flittering, nostalgic noise. More surprisingly 'Housey' is just rather, House-y. Akin to the vogue lo-fi movement of DJ Seinfeld or Ross From Friends, thudding hi-hats threaten to break into a euphoric moment only to continually vibrate densely, and welcomingly. Not only is it fertile ground to explore, but it's also miraculously in-keeping thanks to that same, hypnotically evocative tone.
Elsewhere 'Caffeine Jitters' creaks like colliding, vibrating metal with simply not enough oil to prevent complete erosion. 'Isolation Drill' too feels like a gradual dissipation of energy, like a lo-fi, low-tempo Com Truise coming to a standstill. If the climax of the previous track signals a halt in production then 'Abandoned Factory Revelation' is the empty aftermath - though we can't help but see a fledgling, green shoot of hope amongst the rubble.
As each track modestly and delicately weaves it's own story it's hard not to get truly swept up in Anxiety Machine's latest EP. While each part represents a careful, distinct motion of the same journey, they shine verdantly as their own, tranquil soundscapes. And, though this collection of songs represents the disquieting nature of modern life, they are undoubtedly a refuge of sorts, and a serene source of hope, despite stormy skies encroaching overhead.