Stand Alone Complex
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Stand Alone Complex

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"Stand Alone Complex"

"Instilling downtempo electronic compositions with soundtrack-y scope and flourishes, Canadian multi-instrumentalist Michael Lewis covers a lot of ground on this debut album. Taking a cue from the album’s name, there are intense song titles that are a bit misleading: despite ominous atmosphere, Lewis intersperses his work with precious and/or plaintive melodies and sudden lovely sweeps.
‘Last of the Long-Term Friendships’ is bittersweet and score-like, while ‘I Could Jump Out a Window’ plies soft beats and gauzy ambience. Other tracks are moodier and more synth-focused, ranging from M83 heft to submerged bass. ‘Don’t Be Gone Long’ is tentative and diffuse, shuddering in slow-motion."

- Doug Wallen - Cyclic Defrost


"Stand Alone Complex"

"Music For Suicides" is the debut album of instrumentalist Michael Lewis under the title of Stand Alone Complex.

Stand Alone Complex blends the edges of a number of electronic genres, creating a sound that takes from Trip-hop, Ambient, Electronica and even a little Industrial without sitting too firmly in any one place.

From the opening track "Last Of The Long Term Friendships", there is a faint sense of recent Nine Inch Nails works such as the "Ghost" albums, with that familiar piano tone, ringing out over oceans of reverb, creating a strong sense of scale and atmosphere."

- Steve Fearon - The Electrogarden Network


"Stand Alone Complex - Music for Suicides"

Taken from Skeleton Crew Quarterly on Jan. 6th, 2010:

Michael Lewis, the artist behind Stand Alone Complex, recently posted an anecdote on his blog that seems a fitting introduction to the man and his muse. Detailing that haunting feeling that creeps over many of us while wandering half-asleep in the middle of the night, Lewis is really disclosing his own ongoing battle against mental illness. That invisible but all-too-real menace that looms along the periphery of Lewis’ conscience also lies at the root of Stand Alone Complex, the electronic moniker chosen to address the darker recesses of his mind.

“Dark?” you say. “No shit – the record’s called Music For Suicides.” And yeah, Michael Lewis isn’t exactly beating around the bush with the song titles either; ‘Raped in a Basement Apartment’ and ‘I Could Jump Out a Window’ more than hint at the somber tone of Stand Alone Complex’s debut album. Of course it helps when those aforementioned tracks stand as two of the strongest highlights; the former a head-nodding symphony of breakbeats that turns to climactic chorals and pounding drums, the latter a groove-fest of warped keys and deep bass. Yet despite Lewis’ outlook caught between glass-half-empty and glass-pulverized-into-splinters, Music For Suicides balances its internal dread with some graceful, near-hopeful elegies. There’s a sporadic innocence at play throughout this hour-long set, channeling a sense of celebration in ‘A Lullaby for Gwynedd’ and colouring the melody of ‘Spending My Days In a Decaying Orbit’ (which might’ve bordered on elevator music had the buzzing synths and crushing beats not been there to contrast its purity). Even the building intensity of ‘Last of the Long-term Friendships’, which opens in bittersweet piano before arming itself with morose synth-strings, has an undercurrent of redemption to it.

No pretty flourish or warm tone manages to stay afloat for long on Music For Suicides and, while the apprehension clinging to these songs can be suffocating, the record is more impressive because of it. As a mood-piece, this collection’s darkest moments (ahem, ‘And the City Shall Burn’) are vindicated as necessary nightmares countering the more tender compositions. Perhaps best summed up in the song-title ‘Looking Up From the Bottom of a River’, Stand Alone Complex resides in a lonely, near-nihilistic place, yet the serenity of its views are equal parts cinematic and touching.

Reviewed by Ryan. - Skeleton Crew Quarterly theskeletoncrewquarterly.blogspot.com


Discography

Music for Suicides LP released Sept. 12, 2009.

Too Far Gone to Care for the Affairs of Man EP, Nov. 2010.

Kill All Humans, 2011.

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Bio

Formed in 2008, Stand Alone Complex is Michael Lewis, a multi-intstrumentalist from Winnipeg, Canada. Combining neo-classical, industrial and down-tempo electronica, Stand Alone Complex is a mind-altering, trance-inducing experience that creates worlds for you to exist within.
The debut album, Music for Suicides, released in 2010, is a journey through slow grooves, to glitch-symphonies, to ambient textures, each blending seamlessly with the other. Stylistically, Stand Alone Complex combines elements from all across the electronic map to make something completely new.