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In fifty years, The Fabric's music could be generated by genetic algorithms, implanted neural nets and artificial intelligence. They could perform in high-resolution, full-immersion virtual reality and could project hypersonic auditory beams customized for each individual member of their audience. However, in today's terabyte age, The Fabric crafts songs from beating hearts and esoteric minds, manufactured through analog and digital synthesizers and laptop computers.
"We wanted to make a record that reflected the chaotic changes that are happening in the world today," says Joe Sikes, lead vocalist. The Atlanta-based trio's sophomore effort, We Operate Machinery, is a 15-song opus about love and humanity in the age of technological advancement. We Operate Machinery is an evolutionary leap from The Fabric's first effort in 2007, Man vs. Prototype. "The first album was a throwback. It was an ode to electronic bands and influences like Depeche Mode and Massive Attack," says producer/programmer Sharaab. "We had just begun working together, but with time we developed an original voice."
The song Tragedy, the first single on We Operate Machinery, exemplifies this fusion of experience and technique. It uses the sound of a crashing hard drive to capture the lamentations of a disintegrating relationship. The concept of data loss as heartbreak also is reflected in songs such as Release, Best Intentions and the album's emotional centerpiece, Meaningless.
Other tracks on We Operate Machinery address the rapid progress of technology. The proto-industrial Songs of The Sun describes how ancient cultures employed tools to manipulate their world. Can't Stop and Lunar Influence theorize how modern society relies on technology to survive. Meanwhile, the electro-disco Frozen Lake prophesizes a dystopian future where technology becomes our master instead of our servant.
While contemporaries twiddle knobs and stare white-facedly at their laptop screens, The Fabric seizes the attention of its audience with theatrical displays uncustomary of its genre. Lovers of electronic music rarely have seen a stage presence like this. A vibrant vocalist, Sikes belts lyrics into the mic and writhes across the stage. Meanwhile, Sharaab and keyboardist Jeremy Frank, behind their bank of synthesizers, drum machines and laptops, provide their own undulating rhythms. The splattering, colorful array of video projected imagery onto the three band members is what transforms an ordinary performance into a truly evocative event.
We Operate Machinery will be released on March 16th, 2010 on Undo Recordings. For more information, visit http://www.thefabric.fm.
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