Ogre : Cybercism

Nobody does 80s dystopian synth music quite like Robin Ogden, aka Ogre. The British electronic composer has been making albums as Ogre for close to a decade and each time out he tweaks and hones the sound to a fine, chromed-out sheen. Touches of horror scores, 80s video game vibes, moody ambient, and even hard techno come together to make the Ogre sound complete. He’s released imagined soundtracks, actual soundtracks, worked with Library of the Occult, contributed to compilations like Fangoria Presents: Hollydoom and scored the documentary Rise Of The Synths and has just amassed a staggering and prolific amount of original electronic music since 2014.

On Ogre’s newest album, the kinetic and menacing Cybercism, Ogden gives us a vision of a Cyberpunk future; hazy synth workouts, ambient moments, and even subtle dance floor moves. Cybercism is the future, and the future has damn good music.

According to Ogden, Cybercism is “Inspired by late 1980’s direct-to-VHS cyberpunk anime, visions of terrible (and cool) futures on magnetic tape unheeded, and a multi-decade hangover of chrome and blood that floods our digital dystopian nightmare.” When you hit play you enter a world of fiery skies, chromed-out machines, and crumbling cityscapes. Blade Runner meets Johnny Mnemonic meets Escape From New York.

“Cybercism” is the perfect title track. A repetitive rhythm rises from the ashes and leads us to the last rave in the crumbling future with a beating, metallic heart. There’s a mixture of NIN and Pye Corner Audio with Gothic touches in the synths. Perfect welcome to what will be our futuristic demise. “Die By The Sword” continues that vibe with more urgency and chaos just under the surface. It’s carried along on a slick electro rhythm Giorgio Moroder would be proud of.

You also get atmospheric touches like “20XX” and “Yurei(Virtual Death)” which brings to mind John Harrison’s excellent Day of the Dead score. “Demonator” closes the proceedings with a jagged, propulsive electro strut, bringing the vibe and theme of Cybercism full circle.

Cybercism sees Ogre, aka Robin Ogden, in top form. These are lean, mean tracks that are sparse but precise. Ogre lays out a primal, dystopian soundtrack to a future smoldering in its own mistakes and regrets, complete with burning skies, self-evolving technology, and one hell of a score to experience it to.

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