The New Flesh is an overstimulated synth monster, oozing with information overload and a weakened grasp on reality.
Conceived in Sydney around the 2017 point, Bura Bura is the solo project of Colin J Thompson whose previous efforts in the post-punk and psychedelic realms of Ghastly Spats and God K are not entirely removed from his latest sonic vision. The synthwave on display on The New Flesh could be likened to the early industrial techno of Chris and Cosey’s first few albums with an added punk energy and a deeply thematic narrative.
This release is hugely indebted to Michael Cronenberg’s 1983 body horror film, Videodrome, with the marriage of TV and tentacles depicted in the artwork being directly inspired by the film’s more memorable imagery. Like the smutty, sleazy hallucinations of the Videodrome world, The New Flesh is an overstimulated synth monster, oozing with information overload and a weakened grasp on reality.
On the smoky opener of Shapeless Devils Are Born, Thompson’s murky, distorted vocals whisper in your ear and lead idle hands toward “mischievous deeds”. Like the beginning of an unwanted trip, the figurative devil perched on your shoulder entices you into the gateway of the kinky and deluded Kissing The Whip. The track’s measured tone being more suspicious than it is comforting.
The New Flesh refrains from showing its cards too early, waiting until the hypnotic rhythms and rhyming of Flex Like Rex drops a darkwave bomb right onto a strobed dance floor. However, through the punchy dance floor friendly beats lie an underlying sense of paranoia and danger that flow through the album. “I don’t trust them” cries Thompson from behind the heavy beat of Double Agent, while the slowed pace and single lyric of City Prison create a false sense of calm and a bigger sense of antagonism.
The playful synth hooks of Cat O 9 that open Side B suggest a degree of pop relatability, but only until Thompson’s distorted, almost growled vocals and lyrics evoke complacency as a more accurate tone to this side of the cassette.
After the industrial introduction of Intermission, the voyeuristic, shadowy breaths that open the title track emanate from the bowels of dystopian surveillance, watching over the listener and deteriorating their already compromised mental state. This banging track lures the listener further down the garden path with its dark beat and warm vocals before its signature line “THIS IS THE NEW FLESH” assaults the listener for their submission. The track’s huge potential being its biggest detriment, as its early, eerie fade does more to serve the album’s narrative visions than it does to exploit the track’s momentous beat and lyrics to full effect. Rounding out with the aggression and menace of We Are Open For Business, this track captures and continues the spirit of the album with its gory lyrics, spacey synthesisers and industrial throb.
Bura Bura’s The New Flesh, is a wild, sleazy ride through the depths of delusion and dystopian technological abandon. Discomfort and danger lurk around every corner, but its enticing beat makes this cynical EBM banger more than ready for the dance floor. Look out for the live show to watch the hallucinatory vision come to life.