Review of “The End Was Here” at Urbe01

Original article in Spanish appeared on Urbe01

In this new production, the EP “The End Was Here“, on his own label, Vate features 5 tracks with a robust electronic flavor. It has the typical harshness of the times we live in: confinement and subjection to unusual restrictions, and the assault of technology on humans.

Residing in Barcelona, ​​Spain, Vate, who is Mexican by birth, is part of the very diverse international community of electronic music artists born in Mexico who have carved out his own artistic and sound personality.

He has more than twenty records, made on his own label, although there are to his credit a good number of productions in other label and with artists and groups of the stature of Fussible, Plot (Josep Gonzalez), Marasma Zibra, Galo Tobías, MATIC, 33Canales, Art-Mirall, Manuel Neztic, Binaria, Filter, Nortec Collective, Zan Hoffman, Sergi Saldaña, Deus ex Machina and Minuit de Lacroix. His works appear on compilations by Discos Konfort, Sango Music, Socsub or Breathe Compilations.

Although his sonic identity runs in this already long trajectory between the territories of ambient, electro, experimentation and sound mixing, as he himself describes it, Vate experiments with hybrid forms, at times close to the trends of the moment, and, at times, with a very personal sound discourse.

Although Vate began in Mexico sometime along the use of electronics in the music of the 80s, his musical proposal took off during the last five years of the last century, along with the rise of the internet, when everything began to change.

The varied nature of the genres he addresses in a span of more than two decades is due to the coincidence, in the orbit of labels and collectives, with moments of collective intensity such as the Nortec sound, the electro darkness with Binaria, but also to his independent experience, as an always restless outsider without hesitation on the genre margins. New proposals, like this EP, dawn in 2021 coming off as a creative outcome in the face of the morbid experience of a viral onslaught, in the face of a longed-for “new normal” that may never come, because the end was already here.

Experimentation has always permeated his creative spirit, even in the treatment of iconic high-impact graphic art in his record projects, in the experience of changing codes, transformed before our senses, with moments of conflicting sensations.

In this new EP, Vate presents us with an electro sound with attributes of hardness in the tonic and treatment. “Neonormal” is a first track with an energetic starting rhythm, minimalist structure, mechanical, with glitches that support synthesizer advances. In the course of its 3:45 minutes, the track is built into a disturbing, futuristic piece that captures the present with the rhythmic harshness of post-human landscapes, that forcefully capture the mood of the entire EP.

From the future that we are already have here,  a couple of pieces related with the theme:  “Speech Recognition”, in a generic EBM framework, which grows in rhythm on to a robust piece on synthesizers, and synthesized voice samples that evoke Kraftwerk or Cabaret Voltaire. There is a sound of artificial purity that marks a cadence and invites you to move on dark dance floors in neon light. It is followed by “Facial Recognition”, with an incoming mechanical rhythm traversed by bundles of synthesizers with various treatments, between glitches and layers that grow and implode.

On the “Neocontainment” track, Vate presents an interpretation of dark IDM that is assembled in its own length, from the first lines and phrases. A rich composition of sounds is progressively articulated, representing the situation of isolation to which humanity was subjected for almost a year. Although with fluid synth treatments and bright notes, it evokes a mental dance between glitches and clean synth attacks.

The closing song that bears the title of the EP, “The End Was Here”, builds its powerful and multifaceted set of rhythms from a few crunchy glitches towards a definitely danceable proposal, with a rhythmic and tonic framework in a perfect IDM/EBM hybrid that rides efficiently in just over 4 minutes. At the end, it closes this adventure with a more optimistic tone.


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