Firstly, let me start off by saying that Human Traffic Jam by VR SEX is a killer album. Synthpunk, coldwave, darkwave etc. It’s a great album. Secondly, the music itself:
Thirdly, and maybe lastly, I’m going to cut and paste their own words from the Bandcamp page. It may sound all lofty and even a bit bloated and silly if you don’t share the same sentiments, but there is so much truth in it. It resonates deeply with me. What are we creating here “socially” with social media and the internet that we can pass down to future generations? What is the value and where is it?
“Technology was meant to be humanity’s tool to combat famine, disease, confusion, and to facilitate life, culture, and innovation. Instead, we’re mired in a digital labyrinth that few care to navigate or even solve. Perhaps it’s not a ruse and the matrices coded by keyboard maestros are a path to liberation, but without querying the constructs we cannot ruminate on their affectations on humanity.
VR SEX are audio/visual provocateurs who transpose the identifiers of death rock, synth punk, post-punk, ambient, and ethereal soundscapes into an audit on technology and its imprint on our collective psyche. Comprised of visionary mercenaries Noel Skum (Andrew Clinco of Drab Majesty), Z. Oro (Aaron Montaigne of Antioch Arrow/Heroin/DBC) on vocals and drums, and Mico Frost (Brian Tarney) on synths and electric bass.
Their debut tome, Human Traffic Jam, focuses on lyrical themes that probe the possibilities of loss of autonomy through social media, the decline of human interaction, and celebrity favoritism. Skum believes in the stabilization of society and preservation of our planet by reducing its amount of procreators.
Through PSRS or Procreation Simulation Reproduction Stimulation, humans can act on their hedonistic desires and not face the responsibilities and consequences that come with being an ill-prepared guardian. The future of our offspring will exist in virtual realms and population growth in turn will be stabilized. VR SEX is the cure to most societal ills.
Thematically condensed into an eight song album, Human Traffic Jam was written and demoed by Skum in a flat in Athens, Greece during the winter of 2017. During a rigorous week long session at Figure 8 studios with experimental and dimensional production extraordinaire Ben Greenberg (Uniform/The Men), Skum solely committed all the instrumentation present on Human Traffic Jam.
Rather than being emblematic of influences, each song on the LP infuses a dire tension that cuts shimmer with fetid frequencies, never establishing an aural hierarchy or urgency. Instead, we’re lead into punchy capsules of “dour pop”; the balance of saccharine and sour so emblematic of the VR SEX hive mind.”
No, I’m not coming anywhere near saying I believe in fascist control of reproduction, but what Skum does right here is create a theme, a literary theme if you will, that creates a context for the music itself. Whether or not he actually believes in the solutions remains unclear. I don’t know enough about him to say. The music though follows through on themes really only played out in sci-fi novels and films. It seems all tongue in cheek really. What I think he’s saying is that since the technology has created a situation beyond our control that we should just go with the flow and stop fucking before we produce another generation of poorly adjusted and dysfunctional offspring, as we are already dysfunctional ourselves. Heavy shit, but at the same time funny and not without some logic. Accept your fate and masturbate.
“Lust for the screen. Like this post. Give me digital interaction. Give me gratification. I need it to feel, from behind the screen. Drop the shutters, lock the door. VR Sex is the answer to our woes. What’s the purpose of that body of yours anymore, anyway? Procreation for an overpopulation? Not any longer. VR SEX is brought to you by Noel Skum (Andrew Clinco of Drab Majesty), Z. Oro (Aaron Montaigne of Antioch Arrow/Heroin/DBC), and Mico Frost (Brian Tarney). Just don’t think about it. Always overthinking. Give into a new virtual temptation. This is s e x”
And no criticism can be made of the music. It may not be your thing, but if this vibe is your thing, you’re going to love the hell out Human Traffic Jam.