The M Machine, enter their latest EP with high expectations. Selecting to name it The Metropolis EP, comes with heady associations. The band, formerly known as “Metropolis” and “Pance Party” are made up of DJs/producers Andrew Coenen, Eric Luttrell and Benjamin Swardick from San Francisco and were recently signed to Skrillex’s label OWSLA.
The group takes inspiration from the daunting Fritz Lang film Metropolis, which has essentially spoiled all future endeavors of the same name to live up to that acclaimed hype. The EP is characteristically dark, whether the ethereal and sparse introduction, “Immigrants” which feels like a night time thrill seeking chase through an empty and looming city, or the hushed vocals surrounding by industrial electronic beats in songs like “Faces.” The Metropolis EP, Part 1 (the original LP broken up into two separate parts) is a large project, attempting to create a conceptual album without only (mostly) electronic notes to tell the story.
The M Machine accomplishes the concept by utilizing atmospheric sounds as well as the traditional house array. They serve here as just an introduction though. In “Black”, a very solid bass thumper that will cause all sorts of gyrations and dance moves, the track begins with the pneumatics of a piece of construction equipment being extended and released. Black is a definite track worth listening to as the breakdown that occurs in the middle is an orchestral piano/organ mix that brings a baroque style to the thriller.
The EP suffers from creating the expectation of being inspired by the epic film and attempting to create a cohesive concept. There are plenty of strong tracks on the album, but not too many of them feel like they flow into one another, or are pieces of the story.