Artist: Noyce TM
Title: Love Ends
Release Date: 3rd November 2017
Label: Focile Art Tribe
To have a premise as is present with the newest aural achievement of German NOYCE TM on a visual backdrop of grey-ish abandonment at the edge of the sea immediately gives rise to thoughts as to how this new record might turn out in terms of tone and mood. Knowing the band’s previous works, though, makes me question if there isn’t more to it than meets the eye, something that goes a few levels deeper than you could grasp from a simple picture. Further elaborating on that, we might wanna stop calling it a premise but rather the starting point of us investigating what can happen when ‘Love Ends’, and how many situations this can ultimately result in. Before we start, though, there’s the mandatory introductory instrumental intro track which has some pretty impressing stuff going on as far as sound design is concerned while a cold machine voice monotonously repeats “At the end when love ends”. As simple as it is, it sets a disconcerting tone for what is to come once emotion is being stripped away completely.
Probably, in an ideal world, there would be someone for everyone. The perfect opposite to complement your strengths and even out your weaknesses. However, the stark reality of the matter is: It doesn’t happen that often and sometimes if it does, it is not meant to last for very long. If that state does last for too long and if loneliness becomes too mu8ch you start creating imaginary scenarios of how better things could be with a significant other, imagined or not, and gradually you start losing yourself in that world so you’re not going insane. That truly saddening construct is wrapped up in fairly elegant electronic pop that bears the unmistakable NOYCE TM hallmarks and gets done the difficult job of driving the message into your brain without you realizing at first.
Love of a different kind greets us with the German ’Heimat’. The love for one’s homeland, the country you’re born and raised in and now just imagine all that you know and love is torn away from you within a blink. Your life in ruins and part of your family dead, the only option left is to flee, probably enduring unsignifying circumstances to get to a better place, to maybe build a new life for what is left of your former self with all the odds that are piling up, and somewhere in the back of your mind there’s this question “Will I be welcome?... at all?” On the musical side of things, we get a spectrum, covering a range from melancholia to utmost resignation with a sense of despair, embedded into light industrial aspects gelled around an intense flow of melody and pop sensibilities. At this early stage of the album, this one hit me pretty hard in the guts and it goes to show that German language isn’t just for expressing kitsch and shallow notions.
A ‘Brave New World’, a brighter future for everyone. Or just brighter than what has come before. Is that something we can do or just an abstract concept, somebody is talking about on TV? Honestly, to many people it is something they’ve wanted for themselves but abandoned the idea a long time ago, because we’ve gotten used to living in our personal hell, accepted shit for what it is. We value our well-being so little that evening the thought of fighting for something that could help us get better is abandoned in a heartbeat. For me, this song represents the will to go up against odds that are not in your favour, to change something so fundamentally, it makes your world a better place little by little. Contrary to previous tracks, this one places heavy emphasis on building up atmosphere, utilizing minor pads, even classical elements are incorporated to recreate a very specific sonic picture that will have its desired impact on anyone who listens to the track long enough.
Next up we’re heading for a land that seems cold and distant and in which reality and facts are being abandoned for a digital dream world in which one can be whatever they want. These days, it probably means being a system critic believing nothing coming from any even remotely reliable news source. Facts are promptly disregarded as lies administered to the public to steer their eyes away from the truth. The truth, however, here is as subjective as my opinion about the weather. It is an illness that has been bred by a society that lesser and lesser wants to rely on facts, rather believing a bunch of nonsense somebody made up while walking in the park. As cold as the inner world if some people may be, as cold is the sound design permeating throughout this song. It’s is a bleak and forlorn ambience created amidst precise metallic beats. It seems to be a kind of aural reflection of what the lyrics are conveying.
‘Zertrennlich’, being inseparable, no matter what comes our way we can make it through it all. The very foundation of this being possible is unconditional trust, and once the trust is no longer there the person you geld most dear until now can become a stranger. You begin to question their very personality and wonder if you knew them at all and when the change that ultimately drew you apart happened. The feelings you have, once you’ve realized are so overwhelmingly powerful that I could hardly put them into appropriate words to describe them. NOYCE TM, however, found a way to form notes and subsequently sounds out of those feelings, resulting in a painfully honest presentation which belongs to the best this album has to offer. The album’s title track also is its final chapter. Every time I'm listening to ‘Love Ends’, I can literally see the ending of something beautiful in front of an otherwise picturesque scenery while the sun is setting and everything within this song and predominantly the melodic backdrop creates an elegiac mood that supports the creation of such vivid images. It is capturing the final act of something which has been a strong bond once, but the feelings are gone.
I guess I’ll leave the rest to your imagination, which has admittedly been triggered enough on the album as a whole but it is paramount that you keep it going until the very end. I’m not the type to repeat shallow promo slogans, though rarely there is truth in them. There is electronic pop music and there’s electronic pop music. The difference being that one is merely for consumption and to forget afterwards and the other is the thinking man’s electro pop. Yeah, I know that term has been coined in a different style but it fits in here just perfectly. This stuff just goes way below the surface and explore the hidden depths beyond it while keeping an omnipresent poppy vibe. That’s the kind of balancing act, NOYCE TM have yet again managed to pull off flawlessly and ‘Love Ends’ is proof that good things take their time.
01. At The End
02. Sense Of Despair
04. Brave New World
08. Die Ungeliebten
11. The World Is Quiet
12. Love Ends
Total: 9 / 10