Yen Tech’s second album is fully eye-popping cyber-theatrical medieval deconstructed nu-metal. Like Amnesia Scanner banging out Slipknot covers with Siri and Arvo Pärt in a distant space prison.
‘Assembler’ is a bizarre record, even for SVBKVLT. Yen Tech’s debut “Mobis” was a future-facing hi-tech party rap deconstruction, all blitzed trap and vaporwave shimmer. “Assembler” is completely different proposal, addressing the post-COVID world with growling anxiety and lavish, multidimensional digital fireworks. Hoarse semi-human vocals are meticulously painted over hydraulic, machine-gun kicks, drunken synth drones and simulated choirs. Techpilled harpsichord chimes burp and resonate over swirling, supernatural soundscapes, while alien chatter butts heads with disembodied artificial voices. “Herd immunity,” a voice echoes on ‘Leech’, as unsettling drones build through clouds of white noise.
Yen Tech takes Amnesia Scanner’s dystopian deconstructed airlock club template and debones it to fit the actual dystopia of 2021. Jarring, fanged and packed with sneering nu-metal adjacent attitude, “Assembler” sounds as awkward and genre-allergic as an algorithmic playlist. It’s an uneasy listening experience that’s both familiar (‘Extinction Game’ is almost chart-ready future pop) and defiant all at once.