What does it mean to love in the modern age? What does love look like without the euphoric serotonin/dopamine rush of locking eyes across a crowded room? What does it sound like to fall in love with someone's biometrics and big data before you've ever even seen the hair on their arms or the irregularities of their pupils?
Exploring what it is to love expands further into questioning what it even means to be human? What if you've fallen in love with a bot? In the future, adolescent libidos may even attach themselves to lovely algorithms, like a baby elephant choosing a golf cart as a surrogate mother.
These are some of the concepts explored over the duration of the short-and-sweet Love In The Modern Age EP from Boston's Animal Maps.
The digital euphoria comes on strong with "Intro" which recalls the onset of real love that brings to mind the excellent Love Is A Stream LP from shoegazer Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. Animal Maps paints with digital tones and textures to create a scenario, and place the listener inside, breaking the fourth wall detachment to plunge you inside the action.
It's an effective tactic to get you in the mood.
From here on out, Animal Maps works in a template of hyper-chilled but still warm-blooded glitch hop/post-R&B - all monolithic synths and stomping, crunching beats, that will leave fans of The Weeknd numb in the face. For some, the pacing may be a bit too same-y-same, as Animal Maps keep the action in the sedate 60-90 bpm range. This is the perfect pace for chill-out, serene hip-hop, however, so no arguments here. The beats let up in time for "Outro," all detuned vocals and weightless synths that sounds like two lovers finally finding one another and spiraling off into space.
Animal Maps gives us hope that real love can be found, even in today's complicated world. They also give us hope that machine music and emotionality need not be mutually exclusive. More please!
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