More like "augmented valley," Portuguese-Canadian musician/producer Brutus Begins explores the interplay of the artificial and the organic on Uncanny Valley with stunning results.
The "Uncanny Valley" is a popular digital theory, based on the theory of the uncanny by Sigmund Freud, to explain the repulsion we feel when manufactured items become too close to humanoid. When automatons become too lifelike, they begin to look like jittering corpses with frozen rictuses, cavorting in glee. "Augmented Reality" however, is the interplay of the digital and the mundane, via devices like Google Glass, Microsoft's Holo Lens, and other ways to break out the Digital World into waking reality.
In light of this distinction, Brutus Begins' Uncanny Valley is definitely much more augmented than uncanny, as Ricardo Temparao's beguiling mixture of rock instruments and electronic music is as addicting and inviting as a soma hit in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.
Impressively, Brutus Begins' art rock throws back to similar futurist opuses of the '70s, most specifically David Bowie's Berlin Trilogy with Brian Eno at the helm, complete with soaring Fripp guitar solos and deep, powerful bass synth that sucks you down into the depths like some mammoth tar pit. Considering that the Berlin trilogy is some of the earliest, best and most beloved synth/pop hybridizations ever, this is high praise indeed.
Temparao's vocals have a similarly hypnotic, psychedelic quality to Bowie's, or similar psychonauts like Syd Barrett or John Lennon, as with the album opener "Never Fade" featuring an "I Am The Walrus"-like chorus. Please do note we're referencing some of the highest quality, biggest budget, most notorious technological psychedelic rock records OF ALL TIME - not too shabby for a debut EP.
This may be Brutus Begins' beginning, but it's not Temparao's first rodeo. He’s played in several notable Canadian bands, as well as composing music for several short films and TV programs, and directing several music videos. All of this experience combines to create one of the most compelling and high-quality debuts we've heard in a decade. Definitely expect great things from Brutus Begins!
If you like Bowie, T. Rex, early Death Cab For Cutie, Gary Numan, Depeche Mode, or recent pop/rock/electronic hybrids like Moderat, get this immediately and tell everyone you know! Art like this will only grow and flourish if it's supported. Somehow we think Brutus Begins will have no trouble turning a few heads, but why not make it easy for them, and claim some bragging rights along the way!
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