Creeping out of Munich, Germany with a unique sound that he describes as “neuromantic chillwave for the post-apocalypse”, producer Thomas Huckenholz, the creative mind behind Pagan Interface, is nothing if not visionary. Combining elements of electronica, industrial rock, and vapourwave, into a diverse cyberpunk sound, Huckenholz has built his sound within the gaps between dance floor fillers and chill-out epics, transcending set genres through the heavy use of analogue synths, distorted ambience, and dystopian operatics.
Influenced by the likes of Throbbing Gristle, Massive Attack, and My Chemical Romance, as well as contemporary innovators such as Flying Lotus, Pagan Interface has recently released ‘The Last Days of Everything’, a fourteen-track album that encapsulates the neu romantic spirit. Opening with ‘Intro/Behaviour Modified By Alcaloids’ and ‘Vermillion (Atomic Bald), two hypnotic and wonderfully kaleidoscopic tracks, they’re a controlled mess of glitched melodies and digital flourishes, stitched together to create a rolling mist of sci-fi break downs.
Eventually, the rapid-fire energy of ‘Vermillion (Atomic Bald)’ fades away, setting the stage for ‘Offdaywars’, an industrial, ambient track that offers a peaceful, driven atmosphere, allowing the listener to pace themselves for what is to come. Following track ‘Cherry Blossom Glitch’ blends the two energies together, using the rhythmic grit of the opening tracks to corrupt the ambient sounds of ‘Offdaywars’ to create a near-perfect future-industrial sound. It’s a sound that Pagan Interface carries forward in many of the following tracks, using the balance as a perfectly platform to launch the ethereal sounding ‘Toothless Youth’, the trip-hop mania of ‘Bohemian Electric (A Day For Drugs), and the subtle, growing darkness of ‘S.D.S. (Sex Drugs Synths).
‘The Last Days of Everything’ has a brilliant, restless quality that runs throughout it, pinning the tracks together in a loose narrative that they seem to constantly want to break away from. Everywhere you turn there is a new explosion of sound, and even closing track ‘SpaceFunkProstitution’ is determined to make its mark, meshing peaceful, expansive sounds with an underlying force that pushes the track forward with a real tribal feel.
In the end, you find that ‘The Last Days of Everything’ is perhaps the ultimate escape album. The sounds, construction, and compositions are so unlike anything from your daily life that it forces you leave the mundane and live in the erratic digital world that Pagan Interface has created. The early tracks serve to quickly break down the barriers and clear the field, letting every track that follows build something new a refreshing, and if you can reach the end of the album without having lost your sense of reality entirely, then you might need to question your sanity.