Published by Davide Pappalardo on March 4, 2018
Silent EM is the monicker of American artist, based in New York, Jean Lorenzo. A project dedicated to minimal synth sounds mixed with coldwave and proto-EBM, something at the same time melancholic, dark and energetic, robotic but full of human passion and drama. He is active since 2013, and he has published many cassettes and vinyls under labels like FlexiWave, Function Operate and Fabrika Records, moving between the different faces of his sound. He even published a collaborative album with fellow artist Ortrotasce called Common Loss (FlexiWave, 2015) where both of them displayed their vision of dark and minimal synth-pop. Now he returns under Italian underground label Detriti Records with a limited cassette called Foreign States, an album made of twelve tracks full of robust moments enriched by cold synth sounds, robotic EBM rhythms and larger-than-life vocals.
His sound lives in a dimension in which different facets of the past are fused in an all-encompassing vision made of nostalgia and the mixing of emotions and existential states, moving between sadness, rage, affirmative actions. See the opener The Hunt with its eerie choruses and engaging drum machines, an old-school affair completed by baritone vocals and mesmerizing synth sounds, or Pure heart with its dramatic tension encapsulated in looping rhythms and minimalwave tinged electronics, enveloped in a cold but passionate vocal delivery. La tempestad is a short experimental pastiche, an ambient moment with oniric atmospheres, whereas Dead sky is built upon dreading synth-patterns and the same melodies of the aforementioned track, which confirm itself as a sort of intro. The soundscape is enriched by darkwave vocals and an enthralli9ng crescendo.
Gris reminds us of early 80’s synh-pop with its minimal structures and keys, a track with endearing refrains and hypnotizing loops, and The prey is a EBM-tinged ride centered on a militant rhythmic structure upon which retro-futuristic sounds and dramatic vocals are layered. The digital version of the album includes three bonuses: the Depeche Mode-love letter called Self cell, very close in style to German band TSTI, but with more of a dark atmosphere, the eerier Sangre with its Spanish lyrics and melancholic, crawling soundscapes full of tension, and finally Sentencia, a minimal-synth track with a spartan structure and funereal melodies.
Silent EM confirms himself as an underground artist firmly rooted in a sound influenced by early 80’s electronics, mixing minimalwave, synth-pop. Coldwave/darkwave and proto-EBM sounds in a personal take on “dark electronics”. Whereas sometime the music is robotic and cold, his vocal performance has a narrating quality in which he moves between drama, passion, melancholy, rage, giving us a human and engaging element perfectly fulfilling the tracks. Foreign States is probably his most accomplished work to date, and we hope he will further develop his style in the future following this path.
Label: Detriti records