When you are ready for a run you put on Wouter Visser’s M A I N F R A M E D. A band from the Netherlands, it puts you in the mood. The run was flawless – you barely even stretched your fingers. But then as runs go it was fairly standard: enter, retrieve, jack out, move on to the next desperate chump with panicked eyes and a fist full of dollars.
Bayez had been kind as ever and paid half upfront, the rest to be delivered via courier because you always prefer cash. Biobanking was never your thing. Too personal and intimate. You celebrate the only way you know how – by muting the television, cranking up the tunes, and sitting in your ash-soiled dressing gown until you bow out to the god of slumber. ‘The Planning’ is enough to get your toe tapping. A flurry of beats. A soft padding of synth that might clash if it hadn’t been erased around the edges. This, you think, is what life is like when you peel back the shell.
Since going solo you’ve been financially comfortable, yet you still play music through cheap fizzy speakers that distort when pushed above 60%. Given your result, the next choice of song is no coincidence: ‘The Flawless Run’. Chopped, warped synths and a lazy hip-hop beat in fast forward. Lasers from the nth dimension. It’s precisely the kind of sound you need to heighten your mood. It feels a little like you’re winning at life. Like work hasn’t just become just another job. You sit back, feet on the table, lint between your toes and paw fistfuls of cheesy poofs into your mouth. Can’t help but think about hacking. How it’s all becoming so boring. This is supposed to be the dream, but you feel like you’re running on autopilot. You just sit and blink out and it’s all so standard. All so boring. Enter/Extract/Repeat ad nauseam. You’ve been doing this for a long time, after all. A very long time.
And it really is beginning to make you sick.
That swelling in your gut is a by-product of your chosen profession. You escaped the office to work for yourself, to stack the dollars from low-profile private runs that occupy the murky greys of morality. Sure, the risks are higher, but they payouts are good and you’re free from mouth-breathers in middle-managements. You thought hacking might bring the feeling back. That the excitement might be good for your relationship. That it might bring you closer to Emelio again, but he still seems disinterested. Still spends his time working late. So you just sit and you swell and you sag. This is the hackers life. This is your life.
Irony brings a smile to your face when ‘The Hack’ plays. You’re unsure whether the chirping loop is an addition to the repertoire of groans from your fridge, or whether it’s the seed of an interface failure, but you’re soon beyond caring. Breakbeats stutter in the background, the chirping gradually becomes part of the soundtrack. Those phasing jagged synths and verby key-stabs kind of help too. The shadows cast from the ceiling fan momentarily wipe the walls clean of any colour. They repeat.
Your ears prick at the tubular scraping on ‘The Discovery’. That familiar ring of tinnitus as the needle slips out, the twitch in your left eye. It’s all so standard. So normal. So why is it that you’re now staring at the insert and wondering why there are clumps of clotted matter gathered along its length? When you removed the needle from the back of your skull you didn’t account for the mindmeat and viscera. It wasn’t supposed to happen. A quick search of the back of your head reveals no bleeding.
And through it all the music continues to play. You soak it in. Perhaps, you reason, the hacker life isn’t for you. You could always go back to the cubicle, back to the 9-to-5. You’re beginning to realise that no matter where you look you’ll never find the excitement you crave. But right now it doesn’t matter. You have the TV. You have snacks. You have the sounds of Wouter Visser’s M A I N F R A M E D to remind you what it’s like to dream.
High-quality IDM with filmic properties. Ambience, breakbeats, skewed hip-hop rhythms. Perfect for midnight rides and barbeque hangouts alike. Recommended.
You can pick up the entire 20 track album on Bandcamp here.