Adding more to the online data pool, Pedersen has explained the ideas that inspired each of the album's tracks on Facebook. The music's conceptual inspirations—informed by philosophy and science fiction—present bleak views of a tech-embedded future. But the mood on Information City suggests the opposite. It's epic, colorful and ecstatic. Or is this the kind of surface thrill that covers up something dark?
The title track makes an 8-bit toolkit feel bold and anthemic, with dazzling chord progressions and swallowing bass drops. "They Mobilized Ignorance And Slack" is grimy drum and bass on the one hand, cute and zany cyborg music on the other. Some tracks are almost gentle. "Enter 89" and "Lullabies For The Lost And Forgotten" are loungey interludes that mix warm synths with digital detailing. "He Used His Bench Lathe To Form His Wooden Sculpture," a tribute to Pedersen's grandfather and his analog craft, is a slow, golden ballad of cinematic scale.
Music that embraces the virtual tends towards irony or the avant-garde. But Information City, with its samples of 3D flying dogs ("A Good Wisdom"), has a lot of functional party music. "Downloaded 4 R. D4wkins," the best example, combines garage, footwork and '90s rave, with huge piano stabs and breakneck drum pattern switches. "Real Without Origin" and "The Truth Hides The Fact That There Is None" have the maximal sheen of Rustie circa 2010-11, but a greater focus on speed and rhythm makes them playable for today's adventurous DJ. Take Pedersen, who cuts between footwork, ghetto house, cheesy pop, drum and bass, UK funky and, once in a while, Drake. In this context, tracks from Information City still stand out most—they sound a bit like everything, but nothing sounds quite like them.
There is debate about whether the internet and unlimited access to cultural data stifles originality in favor of replication. "Spatialisation of time causes historical depth to drop out," said Simon Reynolds in 2011. "The original context or meaning of the music becomes irrelevant and harder to recover. Music becomes material, to use as you choose." That point applies to Information City, an album built on obscured references and a myriad of unidentifiable samples. But it works here—the music never sounds revivalist, only new and natural. To click around and find more records like this won't lead you backwards. Information City, a sharp and stimulating album, hints at a future about to unfold.
Tue / 26 Sep 2017
01. Real Without Origin
02. Lullabies For The Lost And Forgotten
03. We Never Truly Understood The Architecture
04. They Mobilized Ignorance And Slack
05. Enter 89
06. He Used His Bench Lathe To Form His Wooden Sculpture
07. Information City
08. A Good Wisdom
09. Downloaded 4 R. D4Wkins
10. The Truth Hides The Fact That There Is None
11. Never Present