Trans Sector Hyperdrive
Long-time readers of this website know of the deep appreciation we hold for the work of Fredrik Djurfeldt. Whether working with electro-industrial or noise, as part of Severe Illusion or in one of his numerous solo project, Djurfeldt brings a distinctly mean and sardonic approach to everything he does, as well as a deep-seated appreciation and knack for the various styles he plies. With the new Instans record, Djurfeldt uses a minimal and doom-laden iteration of dark electro to examine the philosophical significance of space travel and the conspiracies tied to it.
As with previous Instans records, some of the core sounds on Trans Sector Hyperdrive are a bit less harsh than your average Severe Illusion release and certainly cleaner than the scraping noise of the Analfabetism project, yet there’s nothing ‘lighter’ about this in comparison to Djurfeldt’s other work. Note the way in which the plucked, chilly synth programming of “Varsin Raket” is slowly augmented by rhythmically sampled noise bursts. Sure, the latter add some clatter and density to the sparse arrangement, but it was already plenty foreboding without the ostensibly ‘heavier’ sounds. Taking this principle even further, “The Unfortunate Death Of Max Valier” is built around a refrain of detuned, Speak n’ Spell style trilling bleeps which communicate the pathos of the engines of death and (as presented in the record) futile attempts to escape our own planet Valier’s work presaged. Something about those mournful yet still melodic sounds is far more painful to listen to than any blast of noise.
Speaking of the thematics, Djurfeldt’s characteristically caustic misanthropy jibes well with the ideas of rocketry and space travel, a pursuit doomed to fail due to its denial of the core rottenness of humanity in the precepts of the record. In comparison to the horrors of colonialism and genocide which Djurfeldt has previously examined, Trans Sector Hyperdrive (dedicated to “scientists, explorers, and Stanley Kubrick for keeping our dreams alive in vain”) characterizes some of humanity’s noblest ambitions as either futile (“Dream In Vain”) or prone to our shortcomings (“Monkeys In Space”).
It’s that uncompromising extremity which makes Djurfeldt’s work, even in its theoretically most ‘approachable’ forms, so appealing to fans of pure, uncut dark electro (and especially Time-era Klinik in this specific case). Finely tuned and icy cold, Trans Sector Hyperdrive has enough black malice to blot out the stars. Recommended.