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American artist, Silent EM (Jean Lorenzo), based now in New York City released his debut album "The Absence" on the New Orleans underground label Disko Obscura in July 2019. After having played guitar and bass in post-punk and punk bands but in 2010 Silent EM found, upon his transition to a new city, that he could create music singularly with synthesizers and drum machines. His songs explore themes of disillusion, disappointment with religious views, war and lost love utopias. Up till now he had released various, 7inch singles, cassettes and has participated in compilations gaining cult status.

From the opener "Machine" we are acquainted to his minimal darkwave style that is fit for the dancefloor. The next dynamic track "Don't Crash So Fast" served as second single from the album. Its video clip was filmed live in New Orleans at Technoclub in September where he kicked-off the No Rest, No Heaven USA tour. The influence of 1980s French coldwave and post-punk is apparent in Jean Lorenzo’s songwriting. In places we have a perfect mix between EBM and Wave, reminding a bit of Front 242 and at times of The Frozen Autumn. Apparently, his choice of instruments is vital to his sound, seeing he uses Roland SH-2, Linndrum, E-MU Emulator III, Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, Sequential Circuits Pro-One, Novation Peak, Behringer Deepmind 12D, Waldorf Blofeld, Korg MS-20, Korg X5DR, Akai MPC 1000, Roland D-50 and Eurorack Modular.

The album continues with "Last Rites", "Virtues Of Our Age", "No Rest" that is more synthpunk and "Return Of Yesterday" that’s more goth synth pop. The song "Wraith" that follows is my favorite and is surely a standout. It was the first single taken from the album and was accompanied by a great video shot and directed by Dino Kuznik, showing Lorenzo, dressed in a long black jacket, walking with around New York City. The album closes with "No God's Land", a nice dark synth track.

This stunning release by Silent EM is available on fire red variant or grey stone color type vinyl and comes with a custom printed double-sided 11x17 fold-out poster.


Review by Nick Drivas.

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