A Generation of Graves - AGITPROP
A Generation of Graves is an experimental project utilizing elements of industrial, glitch, and hip-hop. The group is decidedly political through instrumental music. Often times, AGOG has used historical photographs alongside their music to create a multi-media package. They explain that their songs are inspired “by those who have had their voices erased or minimized by the march of history.” Finally, their name is meant to be presented in all capital letters at all times to simulate those found on propaganda poster. AGOG, for short then, is a play on the word which means “full of interest or excitement”.
AGOG thus has two prior releases to this, those being their debut, self-titled LP from 2018 and their follow up 2019 EP “ALT-FACTS”. Their latest release is their sophomore album, a ten-track release titled “AGITPROP”. The picture on the cover art is taken directly from the book Slap in the Face: Four Russian Futurist Manifestos. The political themes shan’t be up for discussion on the album as that’s not what I’m here to analyze. No, as per normal I’m here for the music. And what A Generation of Graves provides on “AGITPROP” is an excellent collection of experimental rhythms.
I have a feeling that ‘the politics of the beasts’ will most certainly appeal to those interested in mellow electro-industrial and general space-faring adventures as those are the ideas that popped into my head on each listen of the track. Sweeping backing synths, light but steady drum pads, and occasional noisy textures rose me to that conclusion. ‘pity the salaryman’ has ambiance stitched into its DNA; the background is nothing but chill music that can be relaxed to. Glitch textures tear apart the veil, however, and lead the way for something a bit more ominous. ‘the poem will resemble you’ is a bit of a minimal song as for much of the song there’s a percussion element and some ambient sounds to back it but not much more.
‘IRANAIR655’ took me for a loop as AGOG goes directly into dark ambient territory for this track. It’s dreary, as it should be considering the subject matter, and contains enough texture to keep it interesting – if not a little long-winded. ‘grist for the mill’ sees AGOG play around with percussive elements making for a hard-hitting track. Minimal is the name of the game on the track; unintelligible vocal samples, backing ambiance, and the electronic percussion is all that’s on ‘grist for the mill’, but it works well. ‘tomorrow’s flight today’ has a bit of a raw, punk energy to it and the final song on the album, ‘capitalism death cult’, sees AGOG combine all their influences into one song. From industrial, to glitch, to the ambiance they’ve expertly worked on thus far, it’s a finale worth listening to.
However much as I enjoyed the previous songs, there are also those that I wasn’t too huge a fan of. AGOG tries their best to combine noise, piano keys, and ambiance into one on ‘400 pound ceo’. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work; it feels as if the noise overrides everything else, and the volume in which the keys come through my headphones to compete is headache worthy. ‘no future’ features a frantic pace with metallic drums and even a bicycle chime. While the rhythm works, I believe that AGOG needs to work on their vocal sample placement. Throughout the song, there are cut and paste vocal samples that don’t fit in with the beat. It’s rather jarring. ‘they are lucky’ has a decent electro-industrial rhythm to it featuring dazzling electronic lines. A major complaint about the song, however, comes in around the two-minute and forty-four second mark. Rather than keeping a steady mix, the vocal sample AGOG utilized in the track was fed directly into my right earbud. It was too loud and extremely annoying. As much as I enjoyed the rest of the track, this one part made me wince every time I listened to it.
AGITPROP as a musical entity is well put-together. AGOG has a pretty good handle on their mix of ambiance, industrial, experimental, and glitch mix. As experimental projects often do, however, there are odd choices present throughout the album that are either jarring or off-putting. Needless to say, there are a ton more pros than cons on the album and I can enjoy it – for the most part. Seven out of ten.
This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.Feb 14 2022
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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