soundstreamsunday: “Futureworld” by Trans Am

Futureworld_(reissue)-Trans_Am_480The relentlessness of TransAm’s album Futureworld is a darkly beautiful thing, a fist-waving ode to personal alienation in the late 90. Its Germanic vocoder nods to Kraftwerk, its post-rock distortion and, above all, Sebastian Thomson’s drumming, set a tone so consistently, yet energetically, brooding that it simply will not be denied. It fits neatly in the set of movies and music (thinking Fight Club, Boards of Canada…) directly pre-9/11 that captures the crumbling of 90s tech optimism, the cold distance occasioned by staring at a screen rather than reading a person’s face. This is where the digital shit hits the fan. When I listen to the song “Futureworld” I think these things and I also rock out. Its structure is all about the dynamics of momentum, its breakneck launch ending as a ship with rockets disengaged, a pulse along a motherboard, an incredible downshift punctuated by unlikely but perfect Bonham-esque pounding.

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