Audio Mixers: Lars Stalfors; Dre Skull; Brad Hoss.
Recording information: Brooklyn & Los Angeles (2013-2015).
Travis Egedy's work as Pictureplane examines themes and concepts relating to sexual identities and postmodernist hyperreality, often subverting gender roles and pondering humanity's place in a technological world. His 2011 full-length Thee Physical focused on the significance of physical contact in a digital era; on Technomancer, he embraces technology with equal parts ecstasy and paranoia. His three-minute dance-pop songs blend hazy, distorted trance arpeggios with diva vocal samples and booming beats that are equally influenced by '80s EBM as well as early-'90s hip-house. Egedy's soft, androgynous vocals deliver rave-ready catchphrases such as "techno euphoria" and "can you trip like I do?," which seem custom-made for his clothing line, Alien Body. Tracks like "Death Condition" shock the senses with industrial noise bursts, while "Harsh Realm" elevates the tempo to skittering drum'n'bass beats. Two of the album's most anxious-sounding tracks, "Self Control" and "Live Forever" (both of which feature guest vocalist Grace Hall of Skin Town), deal with losing one's identity and submitting to cyberspace; "Live Forever" in particular seems to promise immortality through technology. Egedy impressively wraps up these heavy, sometimes frightening concepts in accessible packages, utilizing familiar hallmarks of several decades' worth of club culture to express euphoric statements about our relationships with machines. ~ Paul Simpson