This is a review of "Department M" recorded by Department M. The review was written by Ioana Teodorescu in 2014.
Department M is "a creative vehicle for one Owen Brinley" from Leeds. After releasing a few singles, they have brought all their work so far, (including some unreleased songs) into one mini album, available now. They call themselves humans and they seem like having a history to share, but I really think they're aliens. So I'll ignore the personal facts and concentrate on the music.
Department M, will take you on a trip in to all known galaxies, and also some new ones, invented as we speak. A journey inside yourself and in to your secret desires, to the edge of insanity, in between your most hidden feelings and the Universe's greatest plan.
Department M's album is an infectious cocktail of retro and modern refined mixtures. It successfully combines the best of 80s sound and tech elements, with perfect timbre and clever lyrics as a bonus. A representative of indie electronic, taking advantage of synth elements, distorts, both noisy and clean chapters, beautifully interlaced into a final professional product.
The first track 'Visitor', brings us right in the middle of the story, without any warning, without any caution, and all we can do is try to hold on to the comet's tail. 'pHARMACY' is working like a cliff-hanger, while 'I'll Fax You An Apology' and 'J-Hop' are, in my own opinion, the best songs of the album, extremely catchy while building the climax. 'Second prize' somehow offers us an insight into the creator's philosophy. Whereas 'Miscellany' carries us through a white noise phase, just to bring us back to the violent, repetitive musical obsession we discovered before, through a great deal of synth elements. As we can feel the ending closer, 'Absentia' is leading the way to a conclusion, soothing the mind and easing the rhythm of the story, which is nostalgically ended with 'SleepWalker', while we are slowly waking up from the dream of it.
Well...what's more to say about Department M? They are brilliant, they are harsh, they are playful and they'll take you in places you want to be, in places you fear, places you've only dreamt about and places you've never seen before. They are living independently of the time and space rules and they're singing about that, managing to build a sound which will let you crave for more, every time. A must listen to for the electronic lovers, you'll recommend it to your friends and feel really proud about it.
These beautiful aliens got me saying that this is one of the most complex, outraging, obsessive and well-made album I have personally listened to, in quite a long time. Listening to Department M is just like slipping into trance; you can't remember yourself taking a breath, but you wake up more alive than ever.