It was a tight race, but thanks to a major last minute push, the close of the polls on our most recent Artist of the Month contest saw beatmaker Artificial Earth Machine take home the victory comfortably. While all of our artists were worthy of the nod, it's a well-deserved win by AEM, who rode into first place in large part due to the damned good new album he's just released, called Biosphere Simulator.
As you might guess from the name of both artist and album, AEM's music has a strong current of scifi running through it, full of weird sounds that sound like they were recorded straight from alien sources. In fact, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if AEM claimed to be piping the inspiration for this starmusic straight from another corner of the universe through some sort of musical telepathic pipeline, taking in the weird signals and processing them through a beatmaker’s mind. That last part is what elevates this music to truly impressive heights of goodness; AEM corrals all of the weird, space chaos through an obviously keen head for song structure. The repetitiveness and rigidity of hip-hop and other beats provide the perfect counterbalance for all of the odd sounds from the outer reaches, and the result is instant grin-inducing. It’s the perfect music to put on while watching a space documentary or a film like “Aliens” or “Sunshine” on mute, and it’d be even better for soundtracking a stoned solo trip to the planetarium (an activity we highly recommend).
In addition to this solid, thoroughly enjoyable album of space songs, many of you who voted AEM into the winner’s spot made note of the musician’s live show as a major reason you gave him your vote, or as poster “aa” put it, “amazing live and is like a magical synth spa for your brain.” That show (you can watch a bit of it from a few years ago below) features AEM bathed in a sea of projected colorscapes, with just the man, his beatmachines and a mic producing these many-layered, highly thought-out tracks. That he does use a mic is one thing that separates AEM from much of the beat scene, especially here in Austin, where the tendency is mostly to use pre-recorded vocals by someone other than the artist in live shows, or to use none at all. AEM’s aesthetic is made even more unique by not shying away from injecting his own equally alien live vocals into his spacey beats, and it makes for quite an arresting live experience.
In all, Biosphere Simulator is a thoroughly excellent nearly mid-year album and one of the best so far in 2015 from the musicmakers of the city. You can listen to the whole thing here, and we’d like to beam out a heartfelt congrats to Artificial Earth Machine from our communications array at Space Station Deli. Stellar stuff, in every meaning of the word.