I was first introduced to The Algorithm (French producer Remi Gallego) just after Christmas, when they played one of the track off this, their debut album, on the Radio One Rock Show when they took over the afternoon slot and gave the ‘normals’ a scare from the mundane music that the daytime playlists caters for. What we have here could have severely traumatised accidental listeners of such material. It’s quite hard to describe, even on the bands Facebook page, the genre is listed as “?”.
The foundation to this noise comes in the form of ‘Handshake’, which is the track that was played on the radio. This track bounces all over the place like a child dosed up on sugar, and gives the listener a good idea of where this album is heading, with the driving beats (performed live by Monuments drummer Mike Malyan) accompany the electronic sounds. ‘Bouncing Dot’ shows a different, calmer side and has moments which nod in the direction of another Gallic electronic pioneer in Jean Michel Jarre, and although it flows together quite seamlessly, each track is its own individual assault on the ears.
The album throws back and forth between the metal / electronic fields but remains extreme at all times. ‘Null’ includes a short break in the middle of the track, and at first am not sure whether this is meant to be there or if my brain has just given up and blocked everything for a second so it has some time to recover, before the onslaught starts again.
The album closes with ‘Panic’, a twelve minute episode that feels like you have reached the end of a long and tiring journey. It is a euphoric trance like episode that you slowly get drawn into for about six minutes before crashing down and battering you one last time. The final two minutes can only be described a sonic nightmare that reminds you of Paul Catten’s recent “Themes and Variations…” record. There is so much going on over the course of its running time, it was difficult just to pick out a few high points.
This album stomps all over ground where more celebrated bands (Enter Shikari for instance) barely skim the surface; The Algorithm goes all in with everything set to destroy. It fully embraces each of the genres it includes (metal, ambient, electronica, dubstep and many more, including some I had never heard of until reading up on The Algorithm) and it isn’t afraid to veer off in any particular direction. That this is the brainchild of just one man is testament to his talent. He allows it to change and wander without losing control and manages to keep it tight and focused enough to keep your attention right until the end
Had I heard this album last year when it came out, there is no doubt it would have been quite high up in my best of the year list. I always like finding something new and original and this definitely fulfills that criteria. Metal and electronic music have clashed many times before but no one has managed to meld the two quite like this before. “The Polymorphic Code” is something that you will either love or hate, but if you like your music on the more experimental side, this has to be listened to.