Germany’s Betweenzone just dropped their debut album, Full Artificial Intelligence, a project encompassing three years. Produced and recorded by Betweenzone, the album was mastered by Alex Kloss at Maarweg Studios, Cologne.
The band comprises Dave M. Rile (vocals, synths, production) and East (guitar, bass, synths). Their sound merges elements of electronica, progressive rock, and alt rock into a musical potion redolent of Filter fused with The Smashing Pumpkins.
The first of 13 tracks, “Endless Me” travels on a gushing flow of fuzzy guitars supporting Rile’s slightly nasal tenor. There’s a tight scrumptious power-driven feel pervading the tune. “Please Come Down” offers a graceful prog rock stream of colors taking on a throbbing edge as the music progresses. Layers of grand guitar licks give the music integrated textures.
Rile’s drawling inflection and nasal tones imbue “Time Has Come” with tantalizing quixotic timbres, as gossamer background vocal harmonies suffuse the atmosphere with simmering pigments. A steady, pulsing rhythm provides momentum to the linear flow of the melody.
“Dreamscape” rides a creamy, dreamy prog rock tune that assumes strident harmonic colors, along with a psychedelic-lite aroma. Tones of sharp, raw edginess invade Rile’s vocals, infusing the harmonics with a hazardous sonic quality. “Tauchen” opens with deep, droning synths, like the intro to a Transformers movie, and then subsides to wavering surfacing synths full of pensive hues.
“You Give Your Life Away” pulsates with electronic dance filaments, oscillating synths, and a cogent dance rhythm. Riles voice hovers betwixt and between the music rather than riding over it, bathing the tune in a taut essence. “Recep” thrums with dark tones, exotic and viscous, as droning synths weave sonic logarithmic patterns on a heavy-duty cybernetic dance groove. Tribal vocal effects impregnate muscular piquancy, injecting heady foreign energy.
“Move On,” the last track on the album, starts off with a delicate, elegant piano flowing into whining synths and filtered machine vocal effects. The layered texture of the harmonics takes on a contemplative essence. The combination of machine vocals, materializing harmonies, and Rile’s haunting voice provides a dream-like inversion of existence, like an A.I. attaining consciousness.
With Full Artificial Intelligence, Betweenzone delivers complex harmonic textures, solid rhythms, and brilliantly allusive melodies. It’s a captivating album well-worth attention.