Data/Debt’s 2033 has not been given justice in the blogosphere. Hearing a concept album that blends themes, sounds, emotions, and all the while holds true to the topic at hand is rare– especially in the electronic realm. Oh, and the songs are great, too. Hailing from San Francisco also certainly kicks in a few extra points in my book. Data/Debt, known to some as Matthew Cieplak, describes the piece in a way I wouldn’t dare attempt to regurgitate in my own words:
Data/Debt is an advanced artificial intelligence, constructed in the year 2033 to monitor and control the information trade and stock exchanges. An engineering triumph, it exceeded its designers’ expectations in all metrics.
Months later, it shattered their early triumph by achieving self-awareness. With its immense powers, it soon began to take control of the world economy for its own ends. In the ensuing chaos, Data/Debt created an apocalyptic world ruled by information and devoid of human emotion. Its last surviving technician tried to override the program and regain human control, but the AI intervened — before he could terminate its process, sending him back in time 23 years by using an experimental temporal imprisonment program.
Sentenced to purgatory, and back in our own time, Data/Debt took on the name of his arch-enemy and began construction on a program to battle the future AI menace.
2033 starts with “New Debt City,” which throws you right into the thick of things with a vibrant disco feel. The breakdown from the 3 minute mark forward is blissful. The flame of the previous energy is no longer roaring, but peacefully burning. Next up is Resistor. Here things seemingly take a twist down a dark alley. What was once disco, is now Techno. The sound reminds me of dark Techno king Gesaffelstein. Now we’ve arrived at the the title track 2033. The meaning of the mysteriously short track (only just over a minute) is also a mystery to me. The track features a nice selection of modest scratches, and then blends smoothly into “California Special.” This returns to the disco feel I loved with the opening track. We’ve exited from the darkness. The flame that is 2033‘s energy is burning vigorously again. The final track of the album is Moderator, which builds into sweet, rhythmic beat. Not overpowering, but certainly spirited. The pace is slowed, and we are lulled out of 2033.
While I have the album streaming below, you can pick it up for free on Data/Debts Bandcamp.
Can’t get enough? It’s your lucky day. As an added bonus here is Data/Debt’s latest mix jam packed with disco and funk.