“we will not retreat. This band is unstoppable! ”
The sampled words, which appeared at the peak of an anthem by post-rock band 65daysofstatic, “Retreat! Retreat!”, have long been seen by fans as a rallying cry as they drive live performances. The Sheffield-based quartet’s latest project takes that statement of intent to heart: it’s practically unstoppable.
Well, almost. wreckage system is a collection of dozens of algorithmic systems that have been playing continuously since March 2021 – barring the occasional crash. These systems—essentially chunks of music-generating code called “Mumble Prime” and “Harp Collateral”—generate everything from soothing ambient soundscapes to screeching drum and bass drills, occasionally interspersed with robotic-voiced vocals. “advertise”. There aren’t any tracks, so: each system just plays until its time is up, then passes the baton to the next.
On the project’s YouTube channel, a lo-fi screen showing minimal information about the current system is topped by a scrolling chyron displaying a cryptic message. Its “dev blog” is full of updates, mixing nerdy music-making details with hilarious glimpses into life behind the scenes at 65Labs, the sprawling (and mostly fictional) global operation of technologists, robots, and servers that keep machines run.The overall effect is retro dystopia: the world of Spotify blade runner.
“We’ve built this deliberate mythology about it—a lot of blog posts and all that are characters,” said band member Paul Wolinski. “But at the same time, they’re not consistent at all. Obviously, No one really believes in it, so it’s a bit of a theater, a performance, but it’s not a one-way thing for us. We encourage everyone to go along with it.” Fans of the project’s Discord seem to be happy to play along, going back and forth The idea of an ecosystem of semi-sensing machines, such as a glitch in May, when multiple systems started playing simultaneously to create a “relentless 56-minute algorithm board.” Ultra noise. “
wreckage system This isn’t 65daysofstatic’s first foray into endless music. From their post-rock origins, their output has steadily become more electronic and experimental.Forays into danceable technology and film scores culminated in a 2013 commission for the soundtrack for Cosmos Simulator no man’s sky– or more accurately, an infinite number of soundtracks, since the game’s USP is its never-ending supply of procedurally generated planets to explore.
To meet this challenge, the band recorded an album of traditional soundtracks and hours of associated audio clips and cues that could be remixed by the game engine to resonate with the player’s environment and actions.This led to the 2018 decomposition theory A series of concerts in which audio and video are generated nightly on the fly with unpredictable results – an approach more akin to algorithmic raves and live encoding scenarios than their previous live performances – then Replica, 2019an album’s worth of grim, calculated pieces.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, 65daysofstatic, like most bands, found themselves unable to record or tour in person. Unlike most, they’ve been equipped with algorithms to produce new 65-day static music – some of which are earmarked for a project that “broadcasts” the results to the world. Therefore, when posting a compilation of unreleased tracks under a Patreon-supported subscription, year of wreckagethey also started to study what would become wreckage system.