Kansas City's Brandon Knocke has quietly been making a name for himself as a producer and composer the last few years. Beyond his solo work as Discoverer, he fronts the enigmatic Parts of Speech as well as the newly-formed, incredibly promising duo, Svamps, with Kianna Alarid Cameron of Tilly & the Wall. Knocke is a glutton when it comes to his electronic concoctions, but on "Tunnels" we hear him at his most bare
Discover's second full-length, "Tunnels," could be considered a concept album at its core. What is immediately apparent about "Tunnels" is the attention to detail in the composition. Each note, each rhythmic element is carefully considered before being allowed to enter the mix. There's a sense of isolation that permeates the record, like some kind of human-android hybrid attempting to disassociate and find a real level of consciousness. It is music that is all about the journey. From the opening chords of "Circular Motherboard" through the laid back catharsis of "Personal Clone," Knocke is prepared to take listeners on a cinematic ride through white, sterile hallways and feminized technology.
Deep bass grooves of album standout "Blood Lab" hook you immediately and drag you through antiseptic, holographic imagery designed to distract from the disconnect between the horror that is your reality and an imaginary utopian facade. "Lesbian Software" embraces the desolation of a technologically-driven existence with heavily-vocoded vocals paired exquisitely with emotionally-charged synth leads. Diametrically opposed but combined in absolute harmony, Knocke is absolutely on top of his game here. It is music that infects you like a nano-virus, simultaneously destroying what you know but rebuilding it as something better and more pure. Medical architecture and design emerges as a means to a better, perfected end.
As the album comes to a close, Discoverer has come to grips with this controlled and stilted future that hovers in the distance. But in that acceptance is a realization that our human essence cannot be entirely vanquished. In the playful basslines of "Materialize" and triumphant assertion of "Personal Clone" that close out the album, Knocke lets you know that even in the starkest future is the chance to further evolve.
released 25 October 2012
All music composed, performed, recorded and mixed by Brandon Knocke. Recorded in 2011 at Floyd in Overland Park, KS and 2012 at Trumpet Man in Kansas City, MO. A&R: Andrew Heuback. Mastered by Brad Rose. Art & layout by Tiny Little Hammers.