Because The Spice Must Flow: Ferus Melek's Decay of the Mainframe - Music Review

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Ferus Melek - Decay of the Mainframe - Music Review

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Mr. Franklin Kelp is a lonely man. He has a job, mind you, but it is managing paperwork and he needs not talk to other people. His co-workers, noticing the same crisp white collared shirt and slacks being worn every single day, keep their distance. There is something off with Mr. Franklin Kelp.

To outsiders in his apartment complex, Franklin needs help managing his daily routine. They are often helping him with grocery bags and trying to gather some information about him. He does not; however, need any assistance and he only smiles plainly (or nods) at their prodding. He does not talk to them...

...because Franklin is harboring a secret and it consumes him.

Hidden behind his refrigerator is a hole in the wall that was discovered by accident one evening when the electricity went out in the building. Desperate to save his refrigerated goods, Franklin moved the fridge. There it was: a crack in the wall. Neon blue was shining through it and so Franklin started picking at it, making the crack larger and larger each and every night.

And tonight, with only a copy of Frank Herbert's Dune in his hand, he will step through that hole.

Suddenly, Kelp’s white button-up shirt will become a tight-fitting black tee; his thick-rimmed glasses will turn to a leather eye patch; his slacks will become dark jeans; and his loafers will turn into aged motorcycle boots. On the other side of the fridge, this lonely man will discover Octoparis, a future world run by the evil that is the mainframe, and, alongside this discovery, he will find himself a new identity.

His name will be Kelp and, as there once were people here in Octoparis, he will discover how to be their hero. The rain-soaked streets in this world, lit by splashes of cool neon, need him.

 Ferus Melek - Decay of the Mainframe - Music Review

And Ferus Melek’s “Dune Riders” will be his theme song.

I am not going to apologize for going all Philip K. Dick on your asses with my opening. That’s what happens when you put Ferus Melek’s stunning new EP, Decay of the Mainframe, on repeat in a dark room for hours on end. Transformation and understanding. The opening writes itself as the celebrated Son of Dark Light himself begins talking to you through the headphones. 

"Be bold. Be a hero like Franklin Kelp and buy this EP.  Let Ferus Melek transport you away from your miserable lives with his latest release, Decay of the Mainframe. You won’t regret it."

Decay of the Mainframe is a wild collection of post-apocalyptic soundscapes. Six tracks that transport you off this miserable planet and straight onto another that is full of mood, striking colors, and the cinnamon-like smell of Melange. They are complete hallucinogenic head-trips. And, yes, I AM comparing Finland’s Ferus Melek to the work of Frank Herbert and Philip K. Dick. Deal with it. Their atmospheres are similar and the characters that leap out from their creativity share the same fates.

Things get started with “Brute Force”, a metal-minded synth ride that is both exciting and terrifying as Melek’s atmospheric creations are boldly introduced. With a slick ferocity, centralized terabyte-sized databases are accessed and we are rendered helpless. Thrust into this global network, the listener, quite like Kelp himself I’m sure, finds spinning endlessly into the void thanks to the circuit wizardry and eighties melody of Melek’s opening number.

Ferus Melek - Decay of the Mainframe - Music Review

Don’t buy into the nostalgia just yet, though. The eighties-era cyberpunk elements get all sorts of eviscerated as the calming synths of “Octoparis” begin. Slowly, without so much of a palm tree insight, we are brought into the future landscape Melek’s new EP plays out upon. Once made comfortable, he allows a KILLER SYNTH LINE to steal our souls. Holy shit, man, “Octoparis” demands attention. THESE VIBES ARE EPIC.

The cinematic nature of this release continues with “Lonely Circuit”, a sparkling slice of synthwave funk. Both groovy and sneaky in how it handles vocal effects, this one is a sparkling delight of future-ready synth pop. Voices are talking but who is listening? The warmth of this one is caressed by an atomic age attitude. There’s no escaping the flex and the metal majesty here.

Hold onto your butts, though. A wicked score is about to be unleashed with the fury of “Dune Riders”.

Situated as the fifth track, this song makes for a marvelous theme. Meticulous in its production, this mild-mannered stunner is one hell of a deeply disturbed façade; and it kicks with a righteous synthetic stomp across the mainframe. It is, in fact, (especially when the synths start their dance), a heroic anthem.

But the crown jewel on this release has to be the title track. “Decay of the Mainframe”, with its eighties-inspired bass-line, struts its way into our subconscious and simply will not let go. The multiple processing requirements on display here are handled with a sense of awe and wonder and then, because Ferus Melek loves surprising us, the song is injected (as it is supposed to conclude) with "a bit of the ultraviolence" as pioneer synthesist and trans-hero Wendy Carlos is alluded to thanks to an electronic transcription. It is a bold move; one that is fitting for this album.

Be bold. Be a hero like Franklin Kelp and buy this EP.  Let Ferus Melek transport you away from your miserable lives with his latest release, Decay of the Mainframe. You won’t regret it.

Ferus Melek - Decay of the Mainframe - Music Review

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