Album cover for Modernism by Pink Drone

This is Modernism with more than a nod to the past. If the DC comic book artists’ had smoked crystal meth this is the monochrome version of modernism we would have discovered.  John Rose – the one man art movement – has submerged himself into the world of art, albeit a niche corner and he is not afraid to borrow wholesale. Infamously, Pink Drone, unlike the unfussy Magpie, is not interested in the bright and shiny; The Drone’s attention is drawn to the trail of dissatisfaction that leads to the unknown lurking in the shadows…        

The first track lurking in the corner and is the Catalyst for the album is the conduit which introduces the hypnotic electronic formula that is PD’s modus operandi…   

Disorder drifts from Modernism into post-Modernism as the synthesized maelstrom emanating from the speakers reflects the swirl of 5G conspiracies, anti-vaccine polemic, GB news satire, career criminals in costumes and the incoherent ramblings of the reasons for all this dissatisfaction. The political parties rely on three word slogans or phrases to get their message across. Disorder requires one: “OBSESSION”.  

Empires: is an angular fascistic marching song.  It is easy to envisage the gathering dark forces congregating on the outskirts of Gotham City. The track is aptly titled as the creeping electronic threat is invasive and all conquering. However, we can’t protest.      

Blackout starts off all feverish and soon degenerates into much worse: a monosyllabic musical diatribe which captures the curtain fall of darkness descending.

Antenna’s rudimentary bass intro is awkward and clumsy; the drum beat is frenetic and impatient and is reminiscent of Salford’s finest. Joyless and divisive the relentless trope of the musical narrative reflects for me our predicament; the antenna feeding the radar of our lives as we enter into the relentless pursuit of the unobtainable. You can almost hear the Joker passing his maniacal judgement on us all…ha ha Ha Ha HA HA!   

Parachute’s synthesized “backdrop/frontdrop” almost echoes a church organ in its execution thus adding another dynamic to the album.  The ensuing track lets us down gently and is aided by his sidekick Jeannette McCulloch. Be warned though, the album’s insistence on returning to the shadows is never far away.

For me the one word song titles are practical and ergonomically polished. These succinct track titles themselves suggest the “less is more” mantra of the minimalist movement. [In this company I needed to prove my credentials.]   

Somnambulist adds genuine credibility to the album. Intense and unflinching with a brooding menace, which only the darkness can summon up; this track does not sleepwalk through the 3:52 seconds allowed: the track creeps, stalks and intimidates. The unsettling collection of jarring noises would not be out of place in the soundscape of our modern day fears.  These fears are visually captured in the accompanying video and please do seek out the performance. Of course the video also flirts with light and shadow – chiaroscuro for the enlightened – the light and shadow playing across the set, the track, the album and across our sub-consciousness. Believe me, not even the Dark Knight himself can save you from the expressionistic world of Dr. Caligari…darkly hypnotic!

Modernism is available now from bandcamp on CD, MP3 and limited edition 12” vinyl. The track Somnambulist has already been played on radio 6 by Gideon Coe.

By: The Swilgate Scuttler

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