Think like Us

The very simple structure of this final song on Solvent‘s 2004 backwards-looking Ghostly International release “Apples + Synthesizers” propels the listener toward a place more uneasy than that occupied by the rest of the poppy, happy, or wistful tracks on the record.  It contrasts strongly “My Radio”, the much-remixed lament for the dear departed radio of Solvent alter ego Jason Amm’s past that first brought the artist to my attention.

At the heart of “Think like Us” is the dark and untempered monomania of a post-Depeche Mode Alan Wilder.  Wilder lacked the benefit of group input on his subsequent Recoil releases, but his fat synthetics were the filter-envelope modulated repetitive backbones of the best late ’80s-early ’90s DM work.

Amm’s use of the vocoder has a modulated, hands-on-the-knobs style and sound that is specifically his own, but his choice of a thin-sounding synthetic drum kit, as well as the very krauty use of them on one or two lead-up tracks, leads one to believe that his approach is informed in large part by Kraftwerk.  This is not to say there was any way not to have been influenced by Kraftwerk working in this genre of music.

I should make one disambiguation: There is nothing whatever thin about the kick drum on this track.