- The Radioactive Orchestra is ostensibly a project bettering our understanding of gamma radiation—waves of energy emitted from inside the nuclei of atoms as they decay. In practice, though, it's basically a nifty online sound generator where radiation waves become musical ones. That's more or less how Studio Barnhus, the Swedish label and a partner in the project, has been using it. Axel Boman, the label's frontman, recently recorded an album's worth of material using the project's sound-generating algorithms. He and the label invited users to submit music made with the Radioactive Orchestra for the chance of seeing it released on Studio Barnhus. Now, a split 12-inch from winners Abdulla Rashim (who's previously released on Prologue) and newcomer the ZZZZZ, plus ace remixes from Âme and Jonsson/Alter, has made it on the shelves.
I'm admittedly not sure how to take a critical stance on the contest winners, as education on nuclear safety is a valuable public service that should not be discouraged. So we'll leave it at this: the winners, especially the ZZZZZ's almost Sex Tags-ish "Europium," got some commendably cool sounds out of the algorithms. Âme are never short on interesting melodies, and the wild yelps and muted synths that drive their epic take on "Europium" carry plenty of them. Jonsson/Alter aren't messing around, either, turning in a low-key but driving slice of chilly ambient techno. We may not be better prepared for a nuclear catastrophe, but we've certainly got some big tunes on our hands.
A1 The ZZZZZ - Europium
A2 The ZZZZZ - Europium (Ame Remix)
B1 Abdulla Rashim - Kallocain
B2 Abdulla Rashim - Kallocain (Jonsson / Alter Remix)