1700MN produces – well, it’s difficult to encapsulate in a label – let’s call it experimental electronica. I’m familiar with the music of 1700MN, the brainchild of Ed Purchla, having reviewed it, including the “Know That Music Is My Lifeblood” album. Here, we have the promotional video for one of the tracks, titled “phassyn8” – say it phonetically: fascinate. Ed likes to play with words. In fact, his music is very playful at times and sometimes edgy and sometimes witty and a lot of other things, but always intriguing.
1700MN videos are artistic and well-executed, reflecting the electronic sounds and effects of the tracks. This one plays with the twin worlds of virtual and reality, visually interpreting the beeps and loops with flashing graphics. Some of the sound effects are kinda nostalgic, taking us back to the sounds of the game consoles of the 1980s. But this is not about an age of innocence. A real flesh and blood young woman, dressed in black and sporting black lipstick, wanders mysteriously in a sterile landscape. Wearing a lace blindfold and see-through shawl with a metal necklace resembling a miniature yoke, the atmosphere is unsettling, yet sensual. An air of menace, in both sound and visuals, permeates the video.
“Know That Music Is My Lifeblood” explores melody and distortion, with samples of the spoken word. Its various electronic effects place the music in some machine-controlled future, but also look back to that aforementioned 1980s era when many a fledgling nerd discovered gaming in their bedrooms.
As a digital artist and playwright, as well as a composer and musician, Ed Purchla’s creativity is diverse. His instinct is to play with our understanding of sensory information by telling a story or exploring a concept, with visuals and artwork that are just as imaginative as the music they represent. This central figure of the enigmatic woman enhances the music by adding a dark frisson. More questions than answers are posed here, which keeps me coming back for more monkey ninja treats.