Jason Letkiewicz has always swum against the musical tides, flitting between different solo pseudonyms (including Steve Summers, Death Commando and Alan Hurst) and collaborative projects (most notably Mutant Beat Dance) in order to explore different aspects of his leftfield inspirations. With his latest release, a first full-length outing for Artificial Dance entitled Mirage Information, the Chicago-based artist is operating under an alias that celebrates this approach: Opposing Currents.
It’s an alias he’s used once before – for a track featured on Chronditic Sound’s 2015 cassette compilation Non-Christian Referent – but Mirage Information sounds like an artistic rebirth. Densely layered, mind-altering and often intense, the album’s seven tracks update the Cold War paranoia and pulsating electronics of EBM and industrial music for today’s complex and chaotic political climate.
Throughout, Letkiewicz smothers off-kilter drum machine rhythms and throbbing, body-jacking synthesizer basslines in untold layers of hazy audio detail, creating a dystopian sound soup out of which alien electronic melodies, psychedelic acid lines and barely audible vocals emerge. At times, such as on angry opener “Lying Awake”, the extra-terrestrial “Dissolve” and foreboding “Shallow Grave”, we’re invited to dance in the darkness in celebration of impending doom. On other occasions, such as the poignant and melancholic closing cut “It Awaits”, Letkiewicz simply seems exasperated at the chaos that is life in the 21st century. It makes for a genuinely arresting and thought-provoking listen.