Mem1 + Stephen Vitiello: Age of Insects

Age of Insects is all harsh static whirrs, guttural bass croaks and phased white noise, the imaginary calls and conversations of extinct insects created via electro-acoustic improvisation. In crafting these sounds, the collaborators threaded the concept through a backdrop of drone and minimal ambient. In fact, the album’s affiliation with its concept rises more out of its production than the timbre of the sounds themselves. Age of Insects feels warm and organic, as though granting insight into the meticulous scientific processes behind this insect resurrection, incorporating the hum of standby machinery and the throb of harsh laboratory lights. While a more explicit exploration of its concept may have encouraged a more inventive use of sound experimentation, Age of Insects could have easily descended into a tiresome gimmick. The artists were wise enough to stick to their strengths, and this album has fared better for it.

The Silent Ballet (2011)