Total Strife Forever depicts the life of the voiceless through superior synthesisers
The electronic symphony’s of East India Youth (William Doyle) are quietly beautiful; nostalgic throughout, but yet manage to acclaim a sense of pure wonderment, creating a further drift away from Doyle’s past and his reminiscence to James Blake and the unavoidable link to Foals with the title of the album.
With the first half of the album, amassing almost 30 minutes; it’s going to be an important album by any standards.
Avoiding life, the focus on strife is important. It’s a struggle, a fight. Almost undetectable, the harmless 16bit synths void any thoughts of a struggle, replacing them with Mario jumping for gold rings instead. Half of the album abides to this ‘white noise’ affect with the synths appearing to simply take up space. That’s only if you forget this is Electronic music. The styles of the synths tells the story of the album:
The four strifes, tell the story perfectly (Total Strife Forever I, II, III, IV) growing after each passes. (I) purposely explodes as the song progress. More vocal, more disruptive, more growth. The struggle to be heard (I) evolves slowly allowing the stargate of (II) to assume catastrophic abilities of Angelic choirs, accordions and organs having a final battle to the death. The struggle to take control (III) is the aftermath of (II), hazy, swooning and pulsating for a glorious new future. The struggle to reform what once was (IV) regurgitates (III), with much more hysterics and fuzziness. The struggle to see things clearly.
Looking For Someone, cries out the first and second strifes, longing for someone to love then to be in control of their life. The robotic vocals, pieced with the familiar video game 16bit electronics, connotates the idea of a perceived emotionless life.When the ‘Robot has feelings story’ bursts out “you think I feel nothing, you don’t know how wrong you are“.
Dripping Down, silently screams the third strife:
“you have been left, just a little shipwrecked
but you keep on floating
down to the docklands, you’re all out of options
you’ll keep on, hurting now”
The march of the drums with the spiraling electronics, greeted by an emphatic choir of ooo’s, it’s all, end of the world, catastrophic drama, perfectly pieced together, by strife.
Hinterland, beeps autonomously, it’s completely chaotic. The aggression, the struggle is prominent. Think Space Invaders, but when the aliens start moving too fast for you too shoot them. It’s frightening, exhilarating and is impossible to capture. The fourth strife.
Historically; Electronic music has given off the appearance of just being, technical wizardry and dance-able rhythms. Whilst Total Strife proves that underneath this glorious befuddlement, lies a play, filled with it’s every day struggles that the minute are unable to voice. Shakespeare would be proud.