Techno music is a hard game to say the least. Not only for the painstaking hours the musicians and creators sit in front of computer screens to create such textured and diverse pieces of music but for the lack of recognition that comes with a voiceless/faceless project, music most found in obscure clubs rather than top 40 charts or in the background of TV shows rather than on mainstream radio stations.
These kind of things don’t bother German 20 year old Bryan Muller AKA SCNTST, an artist who apparently went to a nightclub once – ‘and hated it’. Indeed, Muller’s love of electronic music sees him creating music he want to create, not to fit in. Can such self indulgence come across well on SCNTST’s debut album Self Therapy?
First thing’s first, if you’re after an album of potential chart toppers with auto tuned vocals and hook-filled choruses, probably best to look away now. However, the excitement is not in short supply. If you’re after banging tunes to push the senses and music to have a dance to, Self Therapy is one to watch for sure. Songs packed with four to the floor rhythms and groovy synths arranged by the young artist show the kind of professionalism and fantastically thick textured tracks that made doubly impressive when one considers the fact Muller only taught himself to create such music in 2010.
The hard-hitting feel of songs like the throbbing five and a half minute epic Throwback are an impressive display of a song that could soundtrack a nightclub dance around and yet provide a mellow background for quieter moments in the day. Similarly tracks Loqui and opening track Velour whilst containing the kinds of grooves to get anyone moving but don’t go over the top, preferring richly textured sounds over explosive choruses. Its reminiscent of Kid A era Radiohead in some ways, if not for the mellow nature, for the feeling of unique and innovative experimentation that can be heard trough the music.
Not to say Self Therapy is a calm affair. The jittery Percee Scan, featuring a sample of what seems to be a copier printer, invokes head nods a plenty whilst the deep buzzing groove of So Through with glittering decorative synths is enjoyably cutting. Chilliger Track, the only track to feature vocals, includes the contributing rhymes of Jean Bordello, a talented German rapper. It works incredibly well and you can predict the album of instrumentals will be a popular favourite of rappers looking for backing tracks to sample. Perhaps a more collaborative direction Muller would be a smart venture in future, it would be interesting to see how his music would mix with vocal melodies.
Whilst innovative, it can be easy to get a little lost within the album perhaps due to the lack of catchy hooks, but perseverance is rewarding in this case. As the final song, title track Self Therapy, comes to a close, you can only look back fondly at a collection of truly interesting and inspired tracks that have come from the brain of a man beyond his years in musicality and talent. SCNTST’s label describe him as a prodigy; Self Therapy makes it clear to see why. His talent is evident, shared with a few vocalists, his sounds could evolve to perfection.