Among the many bands that have contributed to changing things over the last twenty-odd years, with no concern whatsoever regarding the borders that supposedly divide musical genres, 65daysofstatic surely have a peculiar place. Since their first steps and the successful debut The Fall Of Math, the quartet from Sheffield managed to frequently and cleverly reinvent themselves, reaching a prominent role amidst the acts somehow related to post-rock founded in the ’00s. Over time, the band was positively involved in a wide array of diverse projects and performed pretty much everywhere, in fact theirs was the first show I attended over my years in Shanghai.
One of the key features was perhaps that there wasn’t that much rock in their style anyway. 65dos‘ vision arose from the encounter between different musical cultures, from math to glitch, from dance to hardcore, eventually evolving towards something more and more rarefied, universal and unseizable, a constant relation connecting human beings and machines, enacted through what the band has defined Decomposition Theory. This approach seems to have gone through its moment of largest expansion and exploration, also in space-time terms, in the 2016 videogame experiment No Man’s Sky: Music For An Infinite Universe.
The main mood in their latest work replicr, 2019 is indeed very different, as the band appears to have left behind the relatively longer tracks found on the previous album Wild Light (this time there is no song longer than five and a half minutes), and the feelings of discovery and quasi-scientific curiosity that could be perceived in the No Man’s Sky soundtrack. The scenery that’s hinted at is the sixth mass extinction, the abyss towards which the capitalist system is taking us, with all of the concomitant destruction and discontent. Among basically unpronounceable titles and sound fragments coming from the depths of our mind and the information chaos surrounding us, 65dos enact some sort of suspended apocalypse. A constant sense of total demise, omnipresent but at the same time difficult to perceive in its entirety, a crisis that we as individuals can only define in bits, element by element. An end that permeates the present and spreads towards the future as a sonic veil.
replicr, 2019 is in some respects the apex of the musical, visual, and philosophical research of the Sheffield-based band, the extreme concentration of their career, in which maybe only the last song “Trackerplatz” keeps a recognizable link with their early days: as a matter of fact, it emerged from a very old 65dos recording from the rehearsal room, then revisited through the band’s current vision. Sporadic glimmers of hope like this one indicate a potential — and of course difficult — way out of the collapse of this “Bad Age”, while time is running out and it is becoming ever more challenging to understand what is going to happen to the oceans (“Five Waves”). Congratulations to 65daysofstatic, Superball Music, and Century Media, for having released something so intense and unexpected in the increasingly crowded landscape, with scores of records coming out week after week, struggling to leave their mark in the chaos.