20 for ’14: Silo – Stationary

Part 14 of a 20 part rundown of my favourite tracks of last year

On Stationary Silo came packing only one weapon. It’s a hard one to describe: there’s a short arpeggio left to reverberate whilst a dirty, fuzzed out bass barges into the signal, distorting it and making it something strange, woozy, slightly off. It’s bass used like the more powerful weapons on Geometry Wars 2, sending the sound waves hurtling and rippling like the grid that makes up the backdrop of that game (if this reference means nothing to you I implore you to rectify that). The drums try to get a lock on this strange groove but feel like they’re sliding off – perhaps it’s just musical illiteracy on my part but whenever I’m listening to Stationary I can’t get a handle on what they’re doing. It’s like they’re almost locked into a beat but things are just stuttered enough so that it seems to never quite achieve it. And yet it works. It’s a potent enough weapon to fuel a song; it’s such a discombobulating affair they don’t need another.

The creation of it’s parent record Work was by all accounts spent mostly in front of computers manipulating the guitar sounds with meticulous precision until they sounded just wrong. Which sounds about right – it fits the industrial, mechanical vibe of the album. And it’s too good an effect to have been an accident. As for the rest of the song, well, the vocals are fine and fit the song but once it let’s you out of it’s haze you can barely remember a word that’s been sung. And whilst there are some other effects in the mix but mostly it’s just that one, persistent, awkward rhythm driving on, eventually deconstructing and reconstructing itself that makes it. Sometimes doing one thing well is enough.