New Motive Power and The Flying Batteries are two electronic acts who produce electronic chip-tune infused rock music both of which are affiliated with The Hai, a collective of musicians spanning from different parts of the world whose expansive roster of artists have been consistently producing, promoting, and releasing a variety of different styles of electronic music since 2011.
New Motive Power
New Motive Power’s appeal is defined by the versatility of a smooth mix of chip-tune and various other electronic stylings with the progression of modern rock. ‘The Escape’ starts out strong with a very stripped down video game sound that develops quickly into a firm dance beat. The track shows plenty of good progression; these processed almost robotic vocals come in over the beat that helps to tie it all together giving it a sense of completeness before mellowing out and transitioning into a short solo. The production is spot on with everything coming through so crisply but although I think the vocals help give the music a sense of completeness I would enjoy these songs a lot more without the addition of vocals which are unfortunately hit and miss for me. Sometimes they fit in perfectly and other times they come off as sounding unsure and sloppy with the vocal effects obscuring the performance of New Motive Power’s ability to sing, or lack of. Seeing as the music featured on this release is primarily electronic, reflecting the music and sounds of old school video games it makes sense as to why the vocals are processed but I think there are better ways to get the vocals across. New Motive Power definitely has it’s strengths in capturing a listener’s interests with loud rock-inpired electronic music that throws a ton of catchy hooks at you but the execution is a detractor that ends up overpowering the otherwise great production.
The Flying Batteries
I enjoyed the vocals much more on The Flying Batteries side of the split, they just seem a little more passionate and overall more authentic, specifically on the track ‘Passion’ which is this sprawling arena sized track that draws influences from shoegaze and tastefully implements them into a very likable package that is reminiscent of the Crystal Castles cover of ‘Not In Love’ featuring Robert Smith. The partnership between these sounds, this unlikely combination of electronic music and shoegaze is so particular that it no longer becomes a combination of the two but is instead unified as one sound. This unity is further exemplified in the track ‘Rabbit Hole’, a thunderous bombardment of electronic bliss that includes some monolithic guitar work at the end, a nice surprise for an album full of bleeps and bloops. Although the way these tunes are assembled, their dependance on pop melodies is what makes them so likable for some but for me it is this straightforwardness that keeps me from enjoying them as much as I think I would if the were just a bit more variety.
On a side note, how awesome is that album art?
Overall rating (New Motive Power): 5.7
Overall rating (Flying Batteries): 6.3
Favorite Track: Rabbit Hole
Recommended: Check out The Hai’s back catalogue of releases.
Released: 04 February 2012