Russian duo Perforated Cerebral Party had the recent honour of being the very final act at Estonia’s showcase festival Tallinn Music Week, closing the techno venue HALL on the outskirts of the city.
They were due to play an hour-long set but they time-stretched their clanking electro to last nearly three hours, leading to a vampiric exit from the no-phone blackness of the industrial zone into dagger sunshine and a taxi with a fellow HALL conscript to make breakfast at our hotel like a pair of deadbeats.
Perforated Cerebral Party like to slow it down, but this isn’t some wind-down fractal-brained chillout balm to take the edge off a night of headbutt kickdrums. Vova PCP and Tsaritsa Logiki (aka The Queen of Logic) are the main catalyst behind a branch of Russian electronic music they’ve called Somatik – a “ghettopsychedelic futuristic music wave from Saint Petersburg”. Their music is a hybrid of slow-motion techno and electro, blacked-out dub and druggy, paranoid psychedelia. Maybe the PCP acronym is no accident.
Their latest album Routestory was recorded during the tour of their previous album Neverendigstory in airports, hotels, planes and buses, and track titles are abstract hints at budget airlines, flight routes and confirmation codes – starting with the Dopplereffekt-meets-The Bug opening track ‘LED’ (the code of St Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport) and ending in the acid bath New Beat stomp of ‘LPZG’. The whole album is a writhing, mutated technoid bout of sleep deprivation and artificially heightened senses.
The pair like to play with symbolism in a manner that recalls The KLF’s adoption of Illuminati theories and magic realism. They’re united with the rest of the Somatik Sound System ‘sect’ with the ancient ‘Om’ symbol updated with a Wi-Fi logo — full bars, and their uniform of sorts is a full face mask hoody with a giant third eye, stirring up the militant stance of Underground Resistance or 36 Chambers-era Wu-Tang. They deny that this symbolises the “third eye of the enlightened”, but rather: “This is the observer from the experiments of quantum physics in the presence of which the wave becomes a particle. So without our beloved sectarians, everything we do has only a probabilistic form and does not make sense.”
PCP will also fuck with your third eye in a collaborative video for the Neverendingstory — in a joint project with a Alice Virt and an AI neural network created by programmers and artists Yana Samoilenko and Alexander Mordvintsev. The video is generated by an algorithm that combines DeepDream and and Neural Style Transfer for an intense psychedelic dive through pieces by young artists from St Petersburg.
I’m pretty sure they get stopped plenty of times in airports, but still happy enough that they managed to knock out Routestory in between security pat-downs.
Routestory is out now on Bandcamp, and check out PCP’s recent live showcase of the album at Somatik Fest in St Petersburg in June below…