In a series of narrated postcards delivered from Berlin, London, Manchester, and the lost villages of the French countryside, MEMS debut album False Expectations Appearing Real is the first chapter of the duo’s musical experiment.
Set to a backdrop of local pubs, black holes, winding country roads and spaceships, the lyrics recount the duo’s musings on the minutiae of daily life, delivered through soft-spoken word reflections over organic drums, experimental riffs, and floating rhythms nuanced by the pair’s electronic background.
Born of a chance encounter between two friends with unrealized musical chemistry, the story of the album’s creation is one of longtime acquaintances discovering a shared view of the world, and love for the over-analysis of oft-overlooked contradictions of daily life.
Inspired by voice notes taped at record stores in Lisbon, warehouses in London’s Eastern reaches, and plane cabins, the atmospheres that define the album’s lyrics sit in stark contrast to the settings for its production. Mixed and mastered by Klas Lindblad at Blackhead Studios Berlin, the pairing of decades of experience on the technical team with the improvisational lyrical tone embodies the project’s ethos.
A timely feature from Lester Duval sets the tone for the duality of the album’s message, articulating an awareness of the greater problems, systemic traps, and prevailing artificiality of today’s society underlined by a tacit acknowledgement that awareness within individuals – however well-meaning – does not always imply action as the default response. Though able to see through the haze and float above it, there’s not much to be done to escape it: floating just above water, but still fighting fire with fire.
In its own voice, False Expectations Appearing Real delivers an ode to the attitudes of a generation of British and European youth that are as self-aware as they can be self-destructive. At once more informed about the world and consequences of their actions than any generation before them, and finding within this knowledge an impulse to shrink the world down to the day-to-day and – in poetic terms – stop giving so much of a shit.
Through a romanticization of the unsurprising inconveniences, silver linings, and quirks of the cities, environments, and locales the duo call home, the album tells the story of the loosely connected but ever-distant youth of their era, one simultaneously floating above society’s machinations and lost in the concrete mazes of the busy cityscapes that symbolise the reality of their day.
Able to see the world and the shallowness of its oceans from their newfound spaceship, the duo chooses to remain with two feet firmly planted on earth. Paths littered with bags of beer, questionable decisions, and occasional countryside adventure will do.
We organise the demise of our lives. It’s a shame we can’t enact the solutions we find In a world where young minds don’t have a place to design. What a shocking fate.
We have had the pleasure of speaking with him and this has been the result
Can you tell us a little about your experience?
We are MEMS which is reflective of our lived experience since our arrival. We’ve noticedthat simplification is an often-used tool to deal away the complexities of this world. Wejust use it to make music, and to make people happy, not like the rest of these f*****s onearth.
Where are you from / how did you get into music?
Does anyone really “get into music”? In our hometown back on planet MEMS music iskind of the only past time so I guess we were “forced into music”? You have tounderstand that the radio back home wasn’t quite doing its job. It’s kind of on a loop overand over, so we needed to break the cycle. The last year travelling earth was interestingthough. London was mad and Berlin, well… we still don’t know really. You’ll havepostcards heading your way soon…
Does your training come from the Internet?
Who have been your main inspirations ? And how have they affectedyour sound?
We came across a couple inspiring humans on the way but somehow lots of them seemto be dead already.- Also, the systems governing earth really don’t seem to work well or even make a lot ofsense. It’s often like that, even where we live, but it seems to have been pushed to theextreme here. I find that as saddening as it is inspiring.- I like pubs if they’re well organized. They give me the chills.
How would you define your sound? And how has your sound evolved so far?
Well, it goes hand in hand with our learning experience here.- We think of it like what people here called AI or indeed machine learning. It’s not aboutgetting it 100 % right straight away. Rather we want to try ourselves out and understandwithout getting it too wrong.- Maybe we should change that last part – getting it wrong is great – up to a point. In anycase, it always fucks things up.What inspired you? – We once saw drawings in a gallery. That was pretty cool. Couldn’t tell you where andwhen though… it’s all such a blur.- I think there was a plane or something as well. Funny concept.
What concept do you want to convey?
Minimum Effort Maximum Satisfaction.- Take it easy though. The right tools are all there, just waiting to be learned and used bythe right minds.- We should all try to understand what’s going on, you know? It’s very possible, forexample, that a world might explode when I put my drink down. So better keep drinking.
What projects are you working on right now?
So, we do this part-time, right? That makes a couple of things quite challenging as there isalways so much to do.- I’m currently working on a project trying to figure out what a nation is. But I haven’t madesense of it yet.- I’ve built…. Never mind, it seems to be working out well.- Ah, and you can expect some more music soon too!
Written by: Alejandro Serrano
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