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Die Mißbildungen Des Menschen "DMDM1" DREAM14

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Die Mißbildungen Des Menschen’s debut cassette isn’t divided up into songs. Because it’s a cassette, it’s divided up by its sides: The first side is “Electronique,” and the second is “Batterie,” and that’s the tracklist. The album’s 43 minutes aren’t easily chopped up into digestible pieces to be distributed among mixtapes or Spotify playlists (though it is available to stream on Spotify, for the record). Far be it from me to tell anyone how to consume music, of course, but it takes a certain amount of commitment and patience to fully take in Die Mißbildungen Des Menschen’s music.

DMDM.1 is a sprawling, massive work that’s a pretty safe distance from pop, but while it’s complex and experimental, it’s also really cool. Throughout “Batterie,” there are only so many moments that reveal a discernible melody, but it’s a textural wonder. The opening swell of synthesizers is cosmic and feels seemingly infinite; it’s breathtaking and terrifying, like the opening of a Kubrick film. Yet once the drums start up, it becomes a psychedelic dirge that grows more accessible, if only temporarily. There’s always more noise and weirdness just around the corner.

“Electronique,” by comparison, is more chaotic as it unfolds, with electronics firing and synthesizer effects oscillating. It picks up a minimal pulse, and after a few minutes sounds more like a conventional song, relatively speaking. It eventually turns into something sounding more like new wave, complete with a robotic recitation of the band’s name. It’s surprisingly fun.

The full DMDM experience isn’t encapsulated without the addition of member Xavier Vasquez, who provides all of the visuals for the band’s performances (which make them all the more psychedelic and weird). To deliver the complete package, the group has released a DMDM.1 audio/visual component on Amazon, which Prime members can stream for free. Whatever method one consumes the album, it is still a guaranteed trip. Just make sure to carve out enough time to take in the whole thing.

-Jeff Terich (San Diego Citybeat, Treblezine)