In the 1970s, Japanese scientist Masahiro Mori put forward a hypothesis that revolved around people’s interactions with advanced A.I. Part of his theory involved the notion of human rejection at the possibility of robots becoming “too real.” This concept was referred to as an “uncanny valley,” and today it serves as the inspiration for Midnight Juggernauts‘ brand spanking new album, which bears the same name.
Taking its cues from such a source suggests that the project has some sort of evolutionary premise, and indeed it does. By melding 70s sounds with modern electronic elements, the Juggernauts’ sound has matured and given Uncanny Valley a simultaneously vintage and futuristic flair.
Opening cut ‘HCL’ is a good indicator of what is in store, mesmerising with shadowy vocals and uplifting hooks. ‘Master of Gold’ shines with its lush, psychedelic folk vibe, intoxicating to the ear and easily a highlight. Disco elements found on ‘Memorium’ and ‘Sugar and Bullets’ bounce alongside droning vocals that sound both robotic and romantic, further embracing Mori’s ideas of cyborgs and humanity. As ‘Melodiya’ closes off the set with its 80s inspired drums, the journey through the titular valley proves to be a pleasurable, intergalactic one.
The juxtaposition of the past and the future has worked out for Midnight Juggernauts. They’ve delivered an effort that shows growth yet doesn’t alienate itself from past releases. Uncanny Valley is an unforgettable trip, and one that serves to highlight the staying power of the Australian trio.
Star rating: 4 out of 5
Midnight Juggernauts’ Uncanny Valley is out now on iTunes.