Advance: “Deus Ex Machina [Redux]” – Tom Perrett pushes the boundaries of EBM and synth-pop!

Advance, the one-man Dystopian Electronica project by Glasgow’s Tom Perrett, returns with Deus Ex Machina [Redux], featuring new remixes from the likes of Unity One, Terminal Defekt and label mates Atomzero and, a cover of Madonna’s “Frozen”. The repackaged and remastered double disc version of 2014’s monumental electronic release, Deus Ex Machina, which was the first release on the Analogue Trash Records label, is one for the existing fans and for those new to Advance’s unique sound, with its uplifting hooks, soaring melodies and self-aware lyrics all tied together by the sublime vocals of Tom Perrett.

Tom Perrett of Advance
Tom Perrett of Advance

Music like this does not come every day. Tom Perrett has pushed the boundaries of EBM, synth-pop and electronic music in general. His vocals are very good while his lyrics are heartfelt and emotionally strong. The album starts off with Weapon of Choice , A highly danceable song with urgent riffs and rhythms. Throughout the 20-track album there is a plethora of hard hitting songs that cannot be anything else but absolute club favorites!

This is a daring recording as it utilizes many unique sounds and compositions and makes for a very diverse and compelling album. My biggest complaint with some electronic music is that it can at times tend to feel flat and lifeless. Advance as a whole, and most specifically Deus Ex Machina [Redux], completely overcomes these problems, injecting some real feeling and drive into the proceedings.

The feeling is that Tom Perret has taken everything he does best and constructed a nearly flawless album here. Unlike VNV Nation and a few others, Advance never sounds cheesy or melodramatic in any of the songs or remixes. Most casual listeners associate this particular electronic genre with depression and tragedy, set to a pulsing base beat. Interestingly enough, with Deus Ex Machina [Redux] listeners are able to perceive a strong sense of direction in almost the opposite direction: finding hope, tolerance, and some modicum of uplifting comfort despite the lyrical themes and titles of each song.

Tom Perrett
Tom Perrett

The infectious beats and hooks, together with Tom’s inspiring vocals allow one to confront inner demons and conflicts with resolve and triumph. Songs like Fractured Existence, Dead Technology, New Objective and When We Return,  are inevitably able to inspire a sense of urgency, of living life more intensely, with increased verve and resolve, while the pulsating beats that underlies each song also imparts lessons of the strength and insistence necessary in our drama-ridden lives, to survive.

The remixes of these songs, found on the latter part of this collection, offer powerful variations on each musical theme originally produced by Advance. You will find creative remixes done by the likes of Terminal Defekt, IIIOIOIOII, Atomzero, nTTx, Unity One, Binary Division, We Return, Ocean Black Ocean, Satellite Factory and 2k15. The remixes offer different tastes for any crowd filled with varying mindsets, and in so doing, the album truly has something for every electronic music lover.

Tom Perrett is a man who clearly puts his heart and his everything into his music, and that has never been more clearly represented than on Deus Ex Machina [Redux]. The content of every song is profound, thought-provoking, deep, and meaningful.  The remixes are just the cherry on top!


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