Flatline Skyline is the collaborative endeavor of R. Andrew Scott and Jacen Kemp, both of which have been active in a variety of projects both together and separately in the past. Their debut album on the flourishing Mechanoise Labs label is built upon a framework of emotional vocals and dark technoid sounds.
"Horizon Grid" creates a nice balance of melancholic IDM that sparkles with melody and sadness but at the same time comes off with a somber pop feel, like on the tracks "We Depart/Link Arms" and "Math Grenades." Other tracks like the beautiful and darkly lit "98 Tiny Reflections Of You" emote a depressive and haunting tone which builds into a claustrophobic and urgent end, created with a keen talent for complex string arrangements and droning synthesizers.
The vocals of Jacen Kemp are definitely the main attraction on "Horizon Grid." Mr. Kemp's fantastic vocals fall somewhere between Goth and EMO, but lack the adolescent rage associated with both. "Horizon Grid" is more about sadness and sarcastic despondence than of anger and hate.
I was quite stunned to hear such a release on Mechanoise Labs, who have been mostly known for releasing harder material in the past. Not that I'm complaining, it's definitely nice to see them branching out and releasing such quality music in a variety of styles and moods. "Horizon Grid" is not to be passed up, this is truly a contender for album of the year.