Conspiracy Theory by Runningonair
Electronica digital warfare
Inspired by futurology, current affairs and the human condition, Joe Evans, the man behind the moniker Runningonair, makes music that embraces a sinister Cold War vision of distrust and clandestine computer warfare, yet feels uncomfortably fitting for today's politically corrupt world. On Conspiracy Theory, synthesisers are a key element of the music, lending a distinctive 80s vibe, but it's the detached monotone of the artificial voice technology, narrating many tracks, that makes the biggest impact. The idea that computers of the future will become so lifelike that they forget things, don't know if they're "coming or going", i.e. resemble humans, paints a pressing picture.
With a range of musical treatments, Evans works his analogue hardware alongside plug-ins to tell his melancholy tale with a distinctive voice. Richly melodic throughout, piano and electronics combine in perfect union, offset by the computerised vocals. Passage Of Days is like Chilly Gonzales at his solo best while the rousing plucked banjo on the title track is a particular highlight. With genuine emotion, Less Than Human (Stadium Mix) presents a robot's sad monologue and convinces us that a manmade hunk of plastic and metal could actually have feelings. Even the bleepy, motorik Self-Driving Cars grows in stature with repeat listens.
Beautifully produced throughout with a track sequence that works, this is a powerful and memorable piece of work.