If H.R. Giger had designed and owned a dance club, Life Like an Electric Surge would be one of its anthems.
If H.R. Giger had designed and owned a dance club, "Life Like an Electric Surge" would be one of its anthems. Dais Records

Pod Blotz, "Life Like an Electric Surge" (Dais)

Over the last few years, L.A. visual artist Suzy Poling—aka Pod Blotz—has been one of my favorite producers of dystopian electronic music—a field that's become justifiably crowded, given world events. So it's great to see her get signed to a prominent indie label such as Dais Records, as her intelligently designed industrial and minimal-wave tracks deserve wider exposure. An appearance on this year's L.I.E.S. comp Eminent Domain also has helped to raise Poling's profile.

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Now comes "Life Like an Electric Surge," the lead cut from Pod Blotz's Transdimensional System (out January 11, 2020). For this full-length, Poling scavenged sounds and samples from Oakland's Vintage Synthesizer Museum and then arranged them in her Los Angeles home studio. She says that "Electric Surge" "is about an atemporal experience and catharsis action as human bodies are consumed by texture and digital materialization. This piece aims to convey the cognitive complexities of human adaptation in the post-technological era, to redefine new systems—body as a landscape or landscape as a body, a transference of life."

"Life Like an Electric Surge" spasms into action with the sort of alien pulsations that used to undergird the work of IDM iconoclasts such as Farmers Manual and Phoenecia; it also recalls the infernal churn of Throbbing Gristle's "Discipline." Swirling around this rhythmic tumult are grotesquely distorted synths, all gaseous and exhilaratingly toxic, and Poling's radically FX'd voice, an enigmatic and demonic instrument in itself. If H.R. Giger had designed and owned a dance club, "Life Like an Electric Surge" would be one of its anthems. What a delightful descent into the void.