Remember what the future looked like from the 1990s? We were all going to be wearing fetish leather and oddly-coloured hair extensions while dancing in dimly-lit clubs cranking out aggressive industrial music. That is, of course, when we weren’t jacked into cyberspace, searching for any secrets that might be worth something.
It was one of those late nights Keanu-Reevesing through the ‘net on a jury-rigged computer system that I came across the realization of all my cyberpunk dreams: Psydoll.
To get my hands on this CD by a Japanese band that I discovered on an American website, I had to order it from a British record label and have it delivered to my Canadian basement apartment. At this point, I had been working for web development companies for years, but this was the first time I really fathomed the global reach of the medium.
Anyway, enough about me. On to the music.
“In the Fog” was the first Psydoll song I heard, and I was hooked immediately. I don’t understand a word of Japanese, but the opening bars of the tune with Nekoi’s vocals lilting over an acoustic guitar, then maintaining that serenity when the music morphs into a grinding industrial beat… intoxicating.
Many of the songs on I, Psydoll feature Nekoi’s light, almost childlike voice floating over a frenetic mix of conflicting beats and industrial staccatos. In fact, as you’d probably expect from an electronic industrial band, some of the songs dissolve into nothing but driving noise. That is, until you start to listen a little deeper.
When I first got this album, the grinding, monotonous drone of “Theme from Psydoll” instantly became one of my least favourite tracks. After the umpteenth, listen, though, I got to the point where my brain just started to tune it out. That’s when I first noticed the strange, pulsating, almost organic sounds lurking under the industrial noise. It’s kind of like those pictures that, at first glance, are just a mess of colour blotches. Stare at them long enough, though, you can see the 3D teapot hidden in the patterns.
According to Wikipedia (which is an infallible source of information, as we all know), Psydoll is still around. I’ll have to see about picking up any albums I’ve missed over the years.