6 Apr 2016

Second Chance - Part 2: Perturbator "Dangerous Days"

Continuing in the series of returning to albums that didn't originally strike a fancy, we return now with Perturbator's fourth album, Dangerous Days from 2014.

James Kent, aka Perturbator
The Frenchman James Kent, to most probably better known as Perturbator, is by now a mainstay in the synthwave scene. His shadowy cyberpunk sound has captivated many, and he has more or less become the epitome of the darkest variety of synthwave music. At the very least he forms a crystal clear vision of the potential within the scene, both sonically and commercially.

Without having listened to his music before, I pre-ordered the blue/red splatter 2LP from Blood Music in 2014. I assumed that since his reputation was so great and widely spread, and since many utter his name in the same breath as favourites like Dynatron, Mitch Murder and Lazerhawk, it would be a surefire album to sate my thirst for delicious synths. But once it arrived and I put it on, I wasn't so sure. At the very least, I wasn't floored in the way I had hoped I would be. Perturbator's darkened synths, dramatic chiptunes and clunky robot marches seemed more serious than need be, and somehow it lacks the same heartfelt nostalgia and vibrantly draped soundwise exterior that I was used to.

Dangerous Days by Perturbator
In the case of Dangerous Days, it's not so much giving the album a second chance as it is giving it an eighth or tenth chance. I find myself returning to this album time and time again, not out of longing, but to find out whether it's actually good, or if I'm just being weird. At any rate, it certainly didn't strike a chord with me initially. As it was my first foray into Perturbator's black realms the experience put me off delving further into the French artist's discography. 
Now, months later, I still haven't found the spark. There are definitely great tidbits strewn about here and there, but compared to similar artists I'm just not feeling it. Dangerous Days seems too severe, even if Perturbator is a talented producer. This time around he's still not doing it for me. It's not fun. Until next time, I guess I'll just spin Carpenter Brut's Trilogy once more.

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