BEKIMACHINE – Another Atmosphere

Sc-Fi Synth-pop with a heart…

Previously, Bekimachine had turned up on the TEC radar via the New Cross Dark performances where her distinctive sound and approach (not often you’ll see an electronic musician take up a flute) marked her out as an artist of interest.

Another Atmosphere marks her debut album release and also gathers together the various songs that she’s released in recent times as standalone tracks (including ‘Mecha’ which featured on one of our Teclist reviews previously). As with many artists, this album emerged during the grim period of COVID and lockdown. Beki had conceived of the songs here via her Twitch channel; an album that was envisioned as being “inspired by a conceptual alternate universe where cybernetics are reality” and where the listener is invited to follow Beki’s alter ego on a journey of “power, change, love and loss”.

Bekimachine pulls in from a variety of influences for her electropop outings, including the likes of Grimes, HANA, Purity Ring, Bjork and CHVRCHES. There’s also a definite video game aesthetic lurking in her music. The compound result is material that sounds distinctive, without being derivative. ‘Ethereal’, as an example. has a dreampop sensibility with some smartly composed layered effects. There’s also some treated vocals which give this composition a suitably otherworldly vibe. At the same time, lines such as “It’s a dream but i believe/I was lost until i met you” land with an emotional weight.

The science fiction trappings of ‘Mecha’ switches things up a gear. As TEC observed previously, it’s one of Beki’s more dynamic offerings with its repeating beats and neon hooks. It’s a solid electronic affair, yet couplets such as “I feel our hands entwine/Watching the stars align” give the song a heart. ‘Mecha’ brings to mind acts such as AXLS with a similar sci-fi feel and a similar dramatic element in the lyrical delivery.

There’s a softer aspect to ‘Afterglow’ with its slow beats and a focus firmly on a yearning vocal delivery. It’s also peppered with subtle vocal effects that give this number an additional twist. One of the album’s highlights is the perkier ‘Into The Dark’, another sci-fi tale dabbling in “cyber warfare” and musing about being “Lost inside simulations”. Meanwhile, there’s something mesmerising about the languid ‘Crescent’ which is another standout moment. Alongside intriguing lines such as “All I feel is something I just can’t define” are some sweet vocal melodies.

‘The Void’, for all its softly observed tones, seems to dabble in darker lyrical moments. Line such as “A ghost that fell towards the darkness” seem to hint at a more troubling narrative. Elsewhere, there’s some nice flute elements at the heart of ‘Reverie’ showcasing Beki’s not-inconsiderable musical talents are not restricted to an electronic template.

As an album, Another Atmosphere offers up an electronic music talent that’s worth keeping an eye on. This is a collection of songs that catch the ear on a first playthrough, but that also reveals deeper appeal on subsequent spins. Bekimachine is one of the grassroots electronic music community’s more intriguing talents.

Another Atmosphere is out now:

Photos: Gaston Ferrara Rinauto.