In distinction to nearly all of his synthwave / chiptune-era friends, MASTER BOOT RECORD could be very a lot within the enterprise of creating steel information. To be extra particular, the Italian offers solely in “100% synthesized, 100% dehumanized,” symphonic electro-metal madness, and “Private Laptop” — his second full-length for METAL BLADE — is extra of the bewildering similar, however often larger, bolder and extra ruthlessly medical in its damaging execution.
Have been it not for the sheer depth of creativeness and breadth of musical vocabulary that MBR employs right here, the vanity that that is music made by rebellious machines can be all however excellent. With track titles diminished all the way down to numbered codes, that is an album that provides no direct path to an emotional core, however opener “8086” detonates with such untrammelled ferocity and bombast that the non secular and aesthetic hyperlinks to so-called actual steel are greater than apparent. Maybe what listeners must do is to assume like a robotic, and the sterile however multi-faceted cudgellings of “80286” and “80486DX” will suck them straight into the MBR universe, with or with out the requisite bionic neck muscle tissue.
“Private Laptop” hits a peak of efficacy on “80386”: spiralling, sequenced synths collide with a propulsive, punky assault, a swaggering, downtempo mid-section and a remaining dash that instantly transforms the temper from gear-grinding aggro to bright-eyed euphoria. MASTER BOOT RECORD has been ploughing this similar furrow for years now, however every successive launch has showcased an extra refinement of his imaginative and prescient. Each “80386” and the epic “80486SX” allude to a extra pointedly cinematic method; the latter’s internet of overpowering pomp, parping digi-horns and wild, kaleidoscopic synth trills scream out to be the soundtrack for some dystopian celluloid nightmare. In the meantime, the closing “80686” glides in on waves of electrical harpsichord, earlier than steadily evolving into a blinding, digital facsimile of widescreen and windswept post-rock, replete with swooping, sentimental melodic hooks and a colossally overblown, cyber-showbiz ending. In distinction, “80486” is an easy and strident synthwave banger, albeit roughly ten occasions heavier than the closest equal.
Inventive, crushing and thrillingly over-the-top, “Private Laptop” is such a riot that you could be end up questioning precisely what humanity is for at this level.