Pray for Triangle Zero, Do You Have the Software? (self-released)
Find It: pray4trianglezero.bandcamp.com
It’s funny that Do You Have the Software? is one of the few pieces from Lucas Sams’ voluminous Pray for Triangle Zero oeuvre that offers a listening option that requires a certain piece of hardware.
Sams has guided his experimental bedroom project through no fewer than 127 digital releases — Do You Have the Software? is Sams’ fifth release in 2019, and 15th in the past 12 months — a handful of which have also been released on cassette tape through Tri City Rec, the experimental music collective cum tape imprint he founded. Do You Have the Software? is Pray for Triangle Zero’s first vinyl release — sort of. The LP version of the record can be purchased through the print-on-demand vinyl service Kunaki; ostensibly, the service mitigates the upfront cost burden to artists like Sams, whose music is, let’s say, a bit too left-of-center for mainstream consumption.
Then again, Do You Have the Software? might be the most outwardly palatable of Sams’ prolific output. That’s not to suggest these are straightforward compositions: Sams still packs these electro experiments with dissonant tones, sandblasted noise and bracing textures. But though filtered through vaporwave’s mirror-f#!ked syntax, the songs are rooted in a mutated R&B patois. On the title track, he turns the phrase into a hypersexualized come on. “Do you have the software I need? / I need you in the morning with me,” he caterwauls before indulging in some peacocking persiflage: “Baby,” he snarls, “I’m a machine.” He doubles down on his digital lust on “Ultimate Pleasure Sensation,” which closes the A-side: “I wanna get your number / Baby, you fire me up,” Sams repeats as the song spins outward into sweaty, glitching chaos, as though guided by two artificial intelligences learning how to f#!k on the fly. Whether these are subtle tweaks of techno-romantic conventions or gleefully obnoxious parodies, the jokes land, and the songs stick.
The instrumental B-side lacks for tongue-in-cheek cracks, but it’s dominated by one of Sams’ sharpest syntheses. “I Don’t Care Anymore” is a titular head fake: It’s meticulously crafted, modulating its focus between a driving New Jack Swing beat, disorienting synths and gritty industrial textures across its 13-minute runtime. It’s a remarkable blend of introspection and extroversion, burying its soothing salves under ambient layers as coarse as 24-grit sandpaper. If that doesn't suit vinyl lovers attuned to the weirdo end of the spectrum, I don’t know what does.
What: Noise Toys: Columbia SC
Where: Tapp’s Arts Center, 1644 Main St.
When: Saturday, June 8, 8 p.m.
With: Rat Babies, Space Coke, Pray For Triangle Zero
More: 803-617-8608, tappsartscenter.com