Alan Vega


A kaleidoscopc celebration of the late Alan Vega’s legacy

Passing in his sleep in 2016, Alan Vega’s death is one that has struck a chord for a lot of electronic fans. From the disturbing tone of his vocal delivery, to his anomalous eye for visual art and notable position as frontman of Suicide, Vega’s legacy is something that’ll linger on forever and a day. Sacred Bones Records have released a lost album compiled by Vega in the mid-90s, now officially published, and in Mutator we get to see Vega as all he had to offer. Through each track you’re completely immersed in his technicolored thought process. And having played an influential part in post-punk, Mutator cleverly pays attention to this across warped singles, ‘Filthy,’ and, ‘Nike Soldier.’

Introductory ‘Trinity’ is an extremely chilling, ominous track, as Vega loops the word, “trinity” over and over, with lingering vocals, “mother, daughter, holy ghost,” echoing in-between. This track is so creepy it sounds like a summoning spell. If ‘Trinity’ is anything, it’s the perfect soundtrack to a Hitchcock movie. There’s something so vintage about the delivery of this track. It’s completely theatrical and I love it through and through.

Following that is the 80s synth-pop masterpiece, ‘Fist’. This track is completely gorgeous, from Vega’s deep, sparse spoken word delivery, to the piercing, sax sounding synths. There’s something about this single that sounds hyper-sexual, and it’s quite clearly a theme that Vega has weaved throughout this album.

Hitting with some more penetrative electronica is third single, ‘Muscles’. And just like that, Vega has presented a force of faultless tones in the first three tracks, exaggerating his ability to mutate from one narrative to the next – something also very evident across his career path.

Everything about Mutator feels like a dreaded doomsday. Album standout, ‘Nike Soldier’ is a twisted story that only emphasises this thought, as he moans, “you destroy generations, you take, you take the life from the young”. ‘Nike Solider’ perfectly epitomises Vega’s work, from the contort vocals, to the distorted, cryptic score and jittered moans to the psychedelic music video – an epic song, to say the least.

Penultimate number, ‘Psalm 68’ is a disorientated interlude of ominous sounds and is followed by the angelic concluding track, ‘Breathe’. If there’s one thing that Mutator can do, it’s the ability to give any electronic fan who might’ve missed Vega’s work, the hankering to delve into it. Mutator makes you speculate exactly who Vega was, whilst shaking up who he could’ve influenced in the music industry. A superhuman album celebratory to a soul very sad to have lost.

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