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Silica Gel's Power Andre 99

Silica Gel’s Power Andre 99 offers listeners a vibrant trip through our otherwise dull, mechanized, capitalist hellscape. The cover art, which cuts an intriguingly gruesome grayscale scene, is the listener's first introduction to the album's themes. An androgynous humanoid form made of metal is torn apart by an industrial-strength shredder, its silvery sinews ripped and pulverized by the sharp teeth of the sterile machine. White-hot sparks and desperate, reaching hands provide insight into the being’s internal struggle. Its empty expression betrays its resignation to a grim fate of destruction. However, the metallic being’s annihilation points to the possibility of something new arising from the shrapnel, highlighting the album’s central question: is there a way to make space for creativity in a society structured by the bleak realities of capitalism? 

Image Credit: Henry Indresano

Formed at Seoul Institute of the Arts in 2013, Silica Gel is defined by its subversiveness and ingenuity. The group embraces an anarchic structure; the four members rotate instruments based on their vision for each song, drawing inspiration from genres like rock, classical, shoegaze, electronic, and post-punk. Power Andre 99 has no skips and should be listened to in order, since innovative transitions pull listeners through the lush trip that is the album. The deeper you go, the more difficult it becomes to discern where one song stops and the next begins. Highlights include the album’s title track, indie rock masterpiece “Andre99”; noise rock and electronic “APEX”; and “Tik Tak Tok,” which features multi-talented singer-songwriter Hwang So-yoon of So!YoON! and SE SO NEON.

To those looking for a way to escape the rigid norms of this desolate world, Power Andre 99 provides the tools you need to move past your limited reality and reconceptualize how freeing an unconventional existence could be.

Annika Bjork is a junior in the SFS and INDY executive editor who enjoys talking about music and anti-capitalist ways of being.


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