At the time of the release of ‘Decline’, it had been over 7 years since CCDM’s previous full-length , ‘7″ of Doom’. The scene is ripe for some hard, dark Amiga breakcore, and CCDM aims to deliver in his latest release. Filled with glitchy drum breaks and grungy, low-bitrate samples, ‘Decline’ will melt your brain while you thrash to its beats.
CCDM’s style swings wildly between hardcore, gabber, and breakcore with all of the monotony and contrasting chaos that those genres encapsulate. He uses Amigas to create this insanity, and a signature part of his sound is low-bitrate samples of esoteric movies, tv shows, music, and video game sound effects. In ‘Only Dragons Make Techno’, he takes inspiration from a friend uttering the title in response to an audience member and wrings as much out of that mentality as he possibly could. I vaguely remember hearing this song at BRKFest 2012 through the adrenaline haze you can only experience when moshing to breakcore. The songs on this album heavily influenced how I view “hard” music and how I aim to implement it in my music. You can hear a deep energy in the incredibly repetitious rhythms of the drums or in the melancholic melodies that float around this song. At the time I thought that taking the smooth, whole note pulse instrument in the breakdown and turning it in an arp to subtly introduce a glitched out amen break section was genius. I still feel that way to this day.
The way CCDM uses retriggered breaks against otherwise haunting melodies is only one of the tricks up his sleeves. As with the majority of hardcore music, he uses the long, droning bass tails that follow the kick drum samples he uses to create simple, mind-numbing beats that become riveting once he introduces small changes. One such minor flourish is the high-pitched synth that starts to chirp over the latter half of ‘Flesh Tide’. Among the glitched out fills and groove fuckery, the constantly chirping pulse instrument acts as a sort of anchor to keep you banging your headed and dancing along. CCDM also uses sidechaining as a sort of aural illusion in this track, as your brain begins to latch onto the sort of imagined absence of sound following a “heavy” kick that drills into your ears every beat. A measure will start with the kick sounding like its on the beat, but once your brain starts to concentrate on the high-octave synth, the beat feels like it has become inverted.
CCDM takes the tempo down a bit in ‘Wilted Grey Photos’, starting the song out with an ethereal, deep bass sample. He layers on a simple, dark pulse melody and a counterpoint soon follows. The tempo slowly begins to speed up, a common technique in many CCDM songs. He uses this to build tension to a massive drop into an energetic and frenetic break section that somehow feels laid back compared to the other tracks on this album. The intro melody and counterpoint bounce around with the beats, varying slightly across octaves and a lengthy progression until the song drops into a gabber section that utilizes a classic siren synth that slides down over an oppressive four-on-the-floor kick-bass combo. The tempo once more increases to the familiar breakneck pace from the rest of the album and begins to degenerate into glitchy fills. The song finally fades into an arped version of the intro’s melody over a plaintive, fading line. The tempo slows down over time until the song abruptly ends in a line that aptly describes CCDM’s ethos: “Exterminate all rational thought… That is the conclusion I’ve come to.”
“Youth are lost. They have pretty much no direction. […] They have instinct telling them ‘This is wrong’.”
‘Denial’ has a pretty bleak outlook on the state of modern art.
“I witness our culture devour everything in its path, and expel it onto the garbage heaps, while gripping on to virtues of the past. Everyday is numbing to the idea that everyone is slowly amalgamating into a monoculture, that chooses to put a blind eye and a deaf ear to anything outside of comfort. I see less fringe in the tapestry of life, only the perfect clean stitching covering our obsidian hearts. And it hurts. And this is Wrong.”
This quote comes from the description of this album’s final song ‘Wrong’. I will say that, though he believes that society as a whole rejects “weird” or “fringe” art like his, I think now is the best time to be making weird art. There are more spaces now that accept and promote weird art than ever before. If nothing else, this album stands as a testament to that. Though I like to showcase a great variety of sounds and style with this column, I hope that I can at least make a small space for the strange, the sounds found on the edge of acceptable, and that hopefully those of you who read this will enjoy some of it.
ઈ(@̴̨̊̋̐̃̀̽̽ͅ❦@̴̨̊̋̐̃̀̽̽ͅ)ૐ \Keep Chip City w e i r d/ (๑ ऀืົཽ₍₍ළ₎₎ ऀืົཽ)✧