Watch the video for ‘Tsygan’ here

Reformat are set to return this year with new album ‘Precursed’, released on 18th August via Fearbone, it’s a darker and more direct follow-up to their acclaimed debut. The music was created in an attempt to resist the pull of nihilism, resulting in a sound that reflects moments of jubilant beauty caught between creeping anger and grief. Though fuelled by loss, Precursed also offers moments of light, providing both soundtrack and antidote to despair and abandonment. Through embracing the negative—and there’s been a lot of it—the band takes a bold step towards a more meaningful existence.

Reformat create experimental music inspired by their shared love of heavy rock, electronica, vintage pop and science fiction. Creator Luke Pajak and producer Russ Russell (Napalm Death / At the Gates) are joined by Jay Russell (Yard Act) on drums.

Discussing new single ‘Tsygan’, Luke states,

‘Tsygan is named after a Russian space dog who was later adopted by the scientist who had sent her into orbit. The song is about seeing the end of the world from the outside looking in… so ultimately surviving but having nothing to go back home to. The idea came from experiences I had when I was young, which I got through by sort of mentally existing outside of myself. Even though you survive the moment, these things have a habit of haunting you afterwards. It’s also the only song we’ve written which comes close to featuring a ‘normal’ lead vocal line.’

Watch the video –

After a short break following the release of their first album ‘The Singularity’ in 2018, Luke began writing songs for ‘Precursed’ early in 2019. He comments, ‘as the months went by, a variety of horrible life shit just kept coming—and I kept channeling it into new music as a way of surviving. Subsequently, where the last album was kind of built upon a sense of optimism, this one is definitely more energised by anger and grief, caused by some of the endlessly shit situations we’ve found ourselves in. Perhaps it hasn’t had the impact to the final sound that I feel it has… ultimately it’s still uplifting rock/electronic music with a focus on melody.’

The synths on Precursed were all created on a Sequential Prophet 6 which brings an immediate warmth and a sense of gravitas to the sound. Luke goes on to explain, ‘I’d wanted a change in my process and that’s the main difference between the first and second album; I moved away from the Juno 106 which I’d always defaulted to and got out of my comfort zone with a new setup. Saying that, me and Russ were both surprised about how the existing Reformat sound just seemed to transfer onto that synth… it still sounds like the same band, which is good. I was expecting it to be a more noticeable difference but I think it just takes the edge off the sci-fi soundtrack influence which the Juno had enhanced’.

With Precursed, Luke wanted to produce something more direct and raw and felt t needed a (at least partly) human voice to give focus to some of the emotion running through these songs. In the end, he took influence from Oneohtrix Point Never and approached the vocals with a mixture of heavily processed human voice and also some vintage speech synththesis. Luke concludes, ‘I like the fact that I can no longer remember where my voice ends and the speech emulator (built by my brother and utilising the BBC Micro Speech software) begins. I’d also like to claim this love of vocal processing is influenced by someone cool like Cynic but if I’m honest, it’s more Cher and Dane Bowers who have taken up residence in my psyche since the late nineties.’

‘Precursed’ is a must-listen for fans of Genghis Tron, 65daysofstatic, pg.lost, and Three Trapped Tigers.

Pre-order the album now:

Reformat are:

Luke Pajak – vocals, guitars, synths 

Russ Russell – production, synths, programming 

Jay Russell – drums

*Wayne Adams (Big Lad/Jaaw/Petbrick) also provides synth glitch on the tracks Dētrūsā & Obsolethal.

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