Fake - Los Angeles Synthetic
Brand new from newly formed Static Sky Records, Fake's debut release, Los Angeles Synthetic, blew me away. As a side project of Clint Carney of System Syn, the album reeks of everything that makes Industrial music great.
What I like about the overall sound of Fake is that although it is distinctly EBM, it doesn't attempt to make every song a dance floor smasher. I get the sense that this is an album with purpose and meaning-- an album that has something to say and happens to be an EBM album, rather than being a meant-for-the-dance-floor EBM album that has had some meaning stuck onto it.
Fake drew in my attention-- it is probably the best EBM album I've heard all year. Music like this reaffirms my enjoyment of EBM.
This album has definite political and social things to say and an agenda. Although that agenda seemed, at first, fairly typical, I realized that this is because I'm so engulfed in it. The best track on the CD, Money To Kill For (track 2), is a anti-gulf war /anti-corporate agenda track: "and we need their product to drive more products to give more money to fund more products, to be fueled by products to make more money to kill more, money to kill for". At first this seemed to me to be so over done, and so obvious, that I found it a little too cliche. But then I remembered something from the movie Fahrenheit 911*, where in a conversation between two old ladies, one says, "We were duped. We were really duped", and I remember the first time seeing that and thinking, 'duped? How could you be so stupid.' But I live in Canada and the attempt to 'dupe' us was considerably less—it was obvious to me and most of the people that I had talked to at the time that it was all bullshit and lies. But I now realize that some people, or perhaps the majority of Americans, were duped, really duped, fed by American TV news, by CNN, and by an ignorance of the past. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister of Propaganda** once said, "If you tell a lie, tell a big one", and no one questioned it at the time and no one questions it now. People believe big lies more than small lies. It’s easier to convince a mass of people than it is an individual. These universal truths, in the hands of criminals, are powerful stuff. Dangerous stuff.
Overall this is a great album, and one that has been lodged in my CD player for some time.
* A friend from work defined a girl he knew as "smart" with this summary, "we could talk politics and she never quoted the movie Fahrenheit 911", and I agreed and now I use a quote in my review of this album. But this 'mainstream' quote, along with the 'mainstream' anti-war ideology, is part of the reason that I think we need to keep hammering away at the idea. Indeed, only when it becomes cliche will it become common sense, and therefore something that is obvious to all. As George Benard Shaw (who did not appear in the movie, by the way) pointed out: "all great truths begin as blasphemies".
** And some people may have even rightly claimed that the Nazis 'duped' them. And we, with 'common sense' wonder how, as it all seems so obvious to us.
squid @ may 2005