Sectra Releases Debut Album "Infinite Thoughts, Eroded Memories" Years in the Making [REVIEW]
Updated: 4 days ago
The Denver-based producer unleashes a haunting ode to poignant distortion in the form of his long-awaited, debut album.
Cover art by Needs/Name
Over a decade's worth of sedulous work and a diverse catalog of releases reaching far beyond the dubstep sphere all leading up to the highly anticipated debut of a full-length project from Jon Linskey of Sectra. Knowing what Linskey has already accomplished in such little time, it only felt right that a fully polished record would inevitably emerge. Keeping a close eye on his breakthrough dubstep releases on renowned labels over the years, there has been a noticeable transition from his signature distortion techniques to more a meaningful and emotional production overall. Infinite Thoughts, Eroded Memories captures the essence of not only maturity in sound, but the hardship that comes with growth. Though there are many skin-crawling moments of pure angst in this album, there are just as many glimpses of clarity and an understanding of the overall agonizing experience of life, which stretches beyond the music itself.
I was fortunate enough to be given time to digest the album ahead of its long-awaited release today; I would like to personally thank Jon for allowing me to explore what became one of my favorite releases this year. Below is an in-depth analysis of Linskey's prominent debut record.
Infinite Thoughts, Eroded Memories feels like a rebirth of the Sectra project. It is a complete DIY album with everything produced, mastered, and performed by Linskey; even the rough edges feel organic and give the record a significant sense of life. Though genuine and completely true to his own sound, it is hard not to make correlations to some of his clear inspirations: Lorn, Belief Defect, Vessel, Emptyset, The Haxan Cloak, and other giants of the dark electronic world.
The journey begins with "Infinite Thoughts," a partial title track split cleverly with the outro of the album. Linksey immediately breaks free from the confined space of his past dubstep endeavors to deliver a haunting, introductory ambient track full of pulsating low-end and harmonic pads - the start of an ode to the distortion-filled genre of noise. The song ends with a calmer bit full of uncertainty and immediately proceeds to the next track - "Lusk." This was the first single debuted from the album and surely with good reason: the feeling of the distortion tearing out of the soundscape at the start of the track, the heavy drums, and the gut-wrenching sub bass all represent the entire project effectively.
"Hopelessly Corrupted" moves the album forward in a similar direction and keeps the same 120 BPM tempo as its predecessor. What then comes after is certainly a twist in Linskey's archetypal production; "A Crawling Shape Intrudes" introduces a four-by-four, midtempo track previously unheard in his established catalog. The track could easily be mistaken for being part of the soundtrack to an aesthetically Gothic, cyberpunk film.
The album takes another turn with "Despite The Rot," a nod to aggressive, almost industrial techno and my personal favorite song of the entire record. The distorted percussion filling the high-end is perfectly balanced with the thumping low-end of the kick, creating a memorable contrast. This leads us to "What Light Dwells Upon Us" - what I believe is the pinnacle track of the album and best produced track overall in Linskey's newly updated roster of deranged music. The track growls like a horn damaged in battle; the sub bass in the second part rattled my bones and left my jaw on the floor, all as I hoped for.
The album cools down near its end as "Harrowing Phase" takes us back to a dark yet familiar ambient place. Amid the sea of distortion felt throughout the entire soundscape, an attentive synth emerges to create a chilling melody that complements the track's eeriness. This brings us to the record's finale; though near its end, "Eroded Memories" is still as an evocative moment as the beginning. The synth contorting around the room feels uneasy, the grungy feedback feels raw, and the deep sub bass entering later as the song progresses feels like a reintroduction to what Linskey is already best known for.
The 40-minute experience felt like it just commenced as it finished. After a few listens, I finally understood all the contorted feelings that went into creating this album. I truly started to feel that this record was not only made for Linskey, but made for me and everyone else who has felt mental or physical pain in their lives; it always felt familiar but finally began to feel accessible. Sitting there, drenched in my own disturbing thoughts, I could not help but personally smile at the conclusion of this inspiring album - my emotions felt entirely valid.
Infinite Thoughts, Eroded Memories is not only a new summit in Linskey's already decorated music career, but a new foundation made of what is to be explored further in his future. The self-released album is out now and can be listened to and supported on Bandcamp below.