(metamodern cybertime holes)
Bad Stream is the solo project of the Berlin-based musician and Antime label founder Martin Steer, who is currently working on his second album due to be finished in 2020. Having released his eponymous debut in April 2018 through his own imprint, his new audio-visual live set »Homo Suizidalis Vol. 1 (Metamodern Cybertime Holes)« sees him explore a very different side of his varied musical interests while staying true to the original concept of the Bad Stream project.
As already indicated by the first single »Zombies,« Steer draws on rhythmically intricate techno that incorporates elements of IDM, jungle, breakbeat and acid. Thematically however, »Homo Suizidalis Vol. 1 (Metamodern Cybertime Holes)« picks up seamlessly where the eleven songs on »Bad Stream« left off. In shortly under 70 minutes, Steer’s driving experiments with dance floor-oriented music create disorienting effects thanks to a rich tapestry of samples and effects. The chants of Kenji Kawai’s iconic »Akira« soundtrack blend with spoken word bits from Mark Fisher to Jean Baudrillard or Greta Thunberg while the beats emerging from Steer’s Tempest drum machine never cease. There’s no time for breathers here, just an overwhelming sense of urgency that mirrors the quotidian experience of having run out of time.
More than a method, the sensory overload evoked by »Homo Suizidalis Vol. 1« is essentially its very message: much like the more rock-leaning songwriting on »Bad Stream,« Steer’s furious take on post-techno music is dedicated to the reciprocal effects of cognitive capitalism, a life spent in cyberspace, and the continuous dissolution of our subjectivity. What’s depression in an age where simulations have become our first nature? How can we overcome our paranoia if the only way out seems to be the path of sheer panic? Is something like solidarity under these conditions even a possibility, if only for 70 minutes on the dancefloor, sweating away to the incessant beats while staring saucer-eyedly at the flickering images on the screen?
As an overwhelming yet coherent whole, »Homo Suizidalis Vol. 1 (Metamodern Cybertime Holes)« does not provide answers. As the first in a trilogy of audio-visual Bad Stream live concepts however, it poses exactly the right questions.