Macro/micro: Clicks

When you think of dark dystopian futures in art, what comes to mind? Maybe 1984 or A Clockwork Orange in movies and literature. Maybe Deltron 3030 or Dr. Octagon in music? It is funny that none of these nailed the dark dystopian future we are currently living in. There are no flying cars. The land is not ruled by roving gangs or mutant creatures. Instead what is truly dystopian about our present is the quick spread of false information, social media’s negative impact on us psychologically, the gigification of once stable careers, and AIs ever encroaching presence in every aspect of our lives. It is in this current dystopia that Los Angeles producer, Macro/micro derives the inspiration for his new EP, Clicks.

A brief look at the track listing may elicit a smirk. In order, the first three tracks read “Follow,” “Like and Subscribe,” and “Click For More Content.” It may seem tongue-in-cheek but the tracks themselves draw out the darkness inherent in these phrases as more than just ever present buttons on nearly everything we see online.

“Follow” introduces a repeating theme on the relatively short album. Over ambient synthpads a robotic voice says “just click on the screen/its so easy.” These words are repeated and expounded upon on “Like and Subscribe.” Placed over a glitchier landscape of harsh drums, the voice adds “it so easy to see anything you want to believe” and “no need for agency” among other things.

Much like the actual “Click For More Content” button, the track rehashes much of the album themes but in a slightly new way. Here there are no vocals and instead layers of instrumentation become a bit more clear. Music box synths that are in the background of “Like and Subscribe” are now placed upfront with the percussion and harsh noise put a little deeper in the mix. It makes the EP feel a bit more musical. The other tracks feel very message forward, almost like the instrumentation is an afterthought but “Click For More Content” really ties it all together.

The only other song on the EP is “devoid of meaning and significance.” It is again a message based track but maybe the most stark. A computerized voice reads something like an end-user license agreement over a building wall of noise. While it doesn’t necessarily feel very connected to the previous three songs, it does putting a fitting cap on the concept of the EP.

The biggest question with the EP is how much re-listenability it has. Of the four tracks, only two feel like they are not intro or outros. Of those two, only one has lyrics. The value of the EP really lies in the headiness of the concept and the message it sends. Whether this lives on like the dystopian surrealism of Zdzislaw Beksinski, only time will tell.

Rating: 7.2/10

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