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Terminal Sound System - Last Night I Dreamed of Armageddon

Terminal Sound System - Last Night I Dreamed of Armageddon

I sit and think about Armageddon and I wonder if it will be a breakdown rather than a smash-up.

Breakdown seems more likely, although, Y2K, the leading contender for this, was a disappointment; a 'limp out' for those of us who secretly (or not so secretly) wished that it would live up to its potential of ruining everything that THEY had spent so much time corrupting.

Some days I roll out of bed and load up CNN.com and hope to read something about how the missiles have all been launched, how the end will be here in 20 minutes or less (I feel confident that the people running such media sites will spend those last few minutes of their lives updating the "Breaking News" section, pointless as it will be). The missiles launching would mean I could go back to sleep and not have to waste away another day as another meaningless, insignificant pawn (poorly) playing THEIR game.

Those sweet, beautiful, panic-filled 20 minutes would really be something special; something at last unique. But that doesn't look like it's going to happen. Maybe I'm too old, with my old "End of the Cold War" dreams.

Terminal Sound System dream of Armageddon too it would seem, but their dreams are of the empty and cold, glitchy wastelands. This album, and I'm going to pretend that itís a concept album, shows a lot of development for Terminal Sound System. Their sound has softened, inspired by the growing glitch trends, but has matured and become more enticing with soft, cold melodies driving the glitch-based forefront, often forming the beat of the tracks.

It all begins with tomorrow will not come (track 1), with the corrupting glitch overtaking the song and forming new rhythms. And yet, it is all a dream like end that one could sleep through: Tomorrow will most likely come after all, and all the wishes of finality are but the desires of the slumbering brain.

There are different suggestions of how and what could lead to this final point. It could be the replacement of absurd human impulses with that of the calculated logic of robots, as implied in when we are robots there will be peace (track 2). Or, it could be the unknown, in whatever sense, as implied by what you can't see can hurt you, be it microbiological parasite, the sound of some muffled agent (blurred and non-precise) or a ticking time bomb waiting to be unleashed.

It takes until before the snow comes ash for Terminal Sound System to reveal an apolcalyptic interpretation that involves those much wished for missiles, as the staticy bass pounds out their sound, but even here, the chaos is limited, with the listener at least apparently temporarily safe in a fallout shelter or mountain hideaway. It will be neither the missiles nor the ash that destroys these impotent fucks in the end, but the everlasting snows.

The Armegeddons here consist of the corruptions of the machine, the breakdowns of the structure, rather than from the overblown emotions of humans, and yet it remains, fanciful worlds where the banality of life has been cleared away and made clean. But the fact remains (much like what I pretend Terminal Sound System to think) I acknowledge that my own desires to wash it all away are but dreams.

Squid @ Dec 2004