Written by: Matt Sloan
SEM is excited to introduce you to the debut album from L.A.-based synth pop outfit A Million Machines.
Comprised of producer/multi-instrumentalist MIG (The New Room) and vocalist Fate Fatal (The Deep Eynde, Kittens for Christians), A Million Machines formed in 2014 during a band audition that MIG and Fate both attended. It was a chance happening that blossomed into the smooth modular synth-loving tandem they are today.
Their 11-track debut is a synth-pop kaleidoscope, densely layered in clean synthesizers and a heavy melodic aesthetic between light and darkness. The first two singles are pulsating electronic burners echoing Depeche Mode in their technical attack of modular synths, coupled with passionate male vocals.
The entire debut album is a blast of heart-thumping beats, stomping propulsion and intoxicating melodies. Fatal injects his gloomy obsessions with an ultra melodic harmony, abetted by MIG, a conscientious technician with an understanding of the inner workings of modular technology and no stranger to exploring the abyss of self-made modular circuitry. Recording at their own studio in Los Angeles, A Million Machines use modular synths to make some of the most human sounds around.
The result is an output rooted in raw analog synths and punchy vocals, using low-res electronic noise and pop hooks. After being showcased on local college radio stations, including L.A.’s KXLU, A Million Machines’ sound quickly progressed to incorporate various areas of electronic music; electroclash, electropunk and electropop.
Fatal spent twenty years as vocalist on the Los Angeles music scene with bands Kittens for Christian (Sony) and The Deep Eynde (Bomp! /Cargo Records) and his delivery leans towards Dave Gahan and Trent Reznor. Fate Fatal is part American Indian with a tradition rooted in expression and storytelling, fortified by years of gigs with dramatic theatrical performances. Fatal has written and recorded with William Faith (Faith and The Muse/ Christian Death/ The Bellweather Syndicate/The March Violets) and producer Chad Blinman (Face to Face/Jarboe), as well as Gitane Demone (Christian Death). He has also performed with Siouxsie Sioux and The Creatures in Los Angeles.
Through ten years with alternative band The New Room, MIG is greatly influenced by post punk, minimalism and dark wave, in particular, by Wire, Kraftwerk, Editors, Throbbing Gristle and Killing Joke. Madrid-born and Miami-raised, MIG’s musical focus reoriented from guitar to synthesizers after falling in love with the idea of meshing post-punk with early industrial electronic music, inspired by Martin Gore and Depeche Mode, Front 242, and John Foxx.
In departing from the traditional sense of a full piece band, he found the reward of having more control over all the sonic aspects of creating new material. “I find writing/creating using synths and modular systems like a breath of fresh air,” MIG says. “It’s removing some of the more technical stale aspects of modern computers and reintroducing pure energy with the use of control voltage. It makes for writing and recording to be more of a live performance. Sometimes, strange mistakes happen to make it more memorable and far more rewarding.”
A Million Machines have already begun to work on their next album, slated for release in the latter half of 2018, and are planning a European tour next November.
1 Synthetic Eyes
4 My Criminal Mind
5 The Ritual
6 Tech Support
7 Absence Without Leave
11 Come Tonight
Keep it Real: Support A Million Machines