Imagine an album with absolutely no information attached to it. There are no song titles, no album titles, and no EPK to let you in on the overall theme or background of the album. All you have in front of you is the music. How would you respond? On Concept, Bacon Grease’s new project, there are not even written lyrics, despite producer Andrea Knight’s vocals within the mix. While most people would turn away at the fear of the unknown, the mystery is actually one of the most intriguing parts of the album.
Concept busts out of the gate with dissonant, blaring lo-fi synths and skittering drum machines. In the middle of it all are the ghastly vocals of Knight, both treated and produced to blend in with the ebb and flow of the music.
You may picture either an action scene in a science fiction film or an anxiety attack waiting to take place. If by chance your focus is less on imagery and more on composition, you will likely see this album as a “progressive” take on electro music of the 80s.
A fair reference point to understanding the first third of the album is the classic EP by Hashim, Al Naafyish (The Soul), where some tracks progress from one rhythm to another without losing focus–almost feeling like one whole song. Though some moments may feel too disjointed to follow almost like one long non-stop, progressive track, it doesn’t ruin the understanding of certain tracks being a transition from one to the other.
Now, here is where the album admittedly gets frustrating. There will be moments where the progression of beats are abandoned for other unrelated beats to take place. As intriguing as the ideas are, there is no sign of the transitions having an ending before going to a much more different rhythm, which, if you have heard your share of progressive music, is where the frustration lies. However, if you come to the conclusion that if the music is based upon crippling anxiety, then the album showcases its never-ending, just manageable and uncontrollable at certain times.
Bacon Grease makes both an intriguing and dark version of electro production. She has a whole Bandcamp worth of lo-fi, avant-garde albums and EPs that show her prowess to move feet and project a highly kinetic, synthpunk energy to said production. Concept packs in some awesome and visceral ideas for beats that makes you want to hear more that Knight has to offer. For that, this album is worth tackling for the curiosity. But if you want seamless structure in your experimental electronica, then this album just might ruffle your feathers. That is, if the lack of info didn’t do that already.