Category Archives: Flatliner

Techno in the Age of Oblivion

Featuring : Flatliner

This week we’re visiting another of 20JFG’s favourite labels, Holodeck Records.  Which is a good time to do so as they’ve got an epic label compilation out, spanning their entire roster of synth driven goodness.  There are 30 tracks on this comp but today we are focussing on one.

Flatliner – Dream Last Night

Where once these mournful, muscular techno tracks bullied their way across our overactive imaginations — recalling all our innocent 80s action-film power fantasies filtered through our equally naive existential angst — we are now more fearful.

They still conjure a sense of ascension and muscular, propulsive forward motion.  Like a side scrolling videogame where the only option is forward (or, more precisely, right).  This hyper-masculine space.  This co-option of Techno into an internal metronome for our beloved rugged individualists, stalking the night and armed to the teeth.  This space is now, in turn, stalked by our own encroaching dystopias.  For our muscle bound libertarians, railing against any regulation of their own primal agency aren’t to be indulged, they’re to be feared.  For the ironically detached fantasy has become a aspirational reality.  Where once we our tourists, we’re now prospective residents.

All of this perspective shifting leaves us with a fresh and tactile response to these synth bangers.  They still bang with all the power of the neon night.  They still plunge us into the power and the highest of stakes.  But this is beginning to feel like contemporary experience rather than the ironic detachment that might once has flicked through this minimal night music.  What is old will forever be new again.

Dream Last Night is taken from the Holodeck compilation Vision One which you can get right here.

The past is a terrifying place

Featuring : Flatliner

Flatliner - Black Medicine (HD025) - cover

Flatliner hit that 80s action sci-fi horror hybrid thing with the sort of gay abandon usually reserved for the Fight Supervisor on said 80s action sci-fi horror hybrids.  Getting in those combos early: synth washes under murderous melodies; stabby, stabby.  Above, our Lord and Saviour J.Carpenter haunting the sky.

Our collective 80s becomes an intersection of Prog and Electro and Punk and Industrial and New Age in some unholy mess.  A times a brutal intersection of the fascism of ‘on and off’ and the nostalgic primitivism of the handmade and lung powered.  Disjointed and with their (imagined) connections all muddled. 

Although we were barely there so how could it be anything else?

The era of supply side Jesus and the painfully slow death of the communes (and the idealism that went with them) beckoned for the the otherworldly brutality of the culture that sprang up to serve it — we always got the Arnold we deserved.  So why do we produce and devour the synths once more?

Maybe…#cue voiceover-guy#…it’s here from the past to remind us of the terror our present sprung from.

Flatliner – PC Corporation

Flatliner’s EP, Black Medicine is out now on Holodeck Records.