I Am Robot And Proud speaks boldly through its music on the newly reissued The Catch & Spring Summer Autumn Winter. Shaw-Han Liem, the engineer behind I Am Robot And Proud, expresses himself with a vast array of electronic sounds, metallic in their sharpness and dexterity. The music is a precise combination melodies that overlay in a methodic and organized way. It is amazing that so much logic, so many rules, can have such a freeing sound, a sound that allows these melodies to morph and grow as they continue throughout the song, almost as if they weren’t so robotic after all, but organic like some sort of titanium tree.
It’s hard to tell really if each of these separate melodies grows through time, or whether the complexity and the sheer depth of melodies tricks the mind, as it cannot track all of the different ways these simultaneous melodies interact with each other. The evidence my perception can gather is only in little snippets at a time, being able to only recognize that there is some sort of pattern involved, but the pattern strikes my left and right ear so swiftly, tunes ducking in and out of my awareness, its hard for me to be able to tell where I’m even being hit from. I can only sit there and listen, be overwhelmed with the barrage of sounds coming at me and coming in me and entering into my brain, and smile.
It is almost this stupefication that leads me to believe that these melodies are actually alive, that they grow and become instead of simply being. I can’t, and really wouldn’t like to, analyze the aspects of this electronic organization, dare I say organism, to its fullest extent. If I were to chart everything that these songs do, it would take away any sort of feeling of life. I would be able to predict all of its behavior, like it was a robot.
I know instinctively that these songs cannot indeed be living, but it sounds like they are, sounds of complexities and coincidences of harmony interacting in mellifluous and violent ways often times too immediate to categorize as they happen. My only fear is that at the end of this life I will be able to write its memoirs, tracking every lyrical event in the music, and thus expecting it. Its life will die and become a cold unfeeling thing moving through tasks like a spot-welder in an assembly line. All music gets stale and dies though. All it takes is enough listens.
But who cares what I will think. I’m going to enjoy my stupefication while I can, and really believe that Shaw-Han Liem is pulling a rabbit out of his hat.