The Sheffield band 65daysofstatic have spent more than a decade now shunning labels and carving their own path. While many will chart their progress to this point through various machinations of genre, I believe that act is fruitless, for 65days have always been exactly what they are now: futurists.

In a somewhat ironic twist of fate then that this record’s title bears the year 2019 in it, forever cementing it as a product of its time. The grimness of our warped “darkest timeline” reality pierces every glitch and loop on replicr, 2019, yet that doesn’t mean the future isn’t to be found and it lurks here in the negative space, showing us with the hiss of feedback what it is we’ve destroyed.

Re-invention is a harsh term to describe what 65days do, it suggests they destroy what went before when what they really do is build on it. The urgency of The Fall of Math and the synthesised beauty of We Were Exploding Anyway are very much present here in the rapid mechanised heat-beat of ‘Stillstellung’ and the brief, hopeful, twinkling respite of ‘Five Waves’, which slowly ebbs away.

Building on their soundtrack work and their Decomposition Theory project that saw them experiment with algorithms and live coding, replicr, 2019 retains elements of both and somehow creates their most focused record to date. The clicks that litter ‘z03’ fill you with a sense of hideous unease that makes you feel as if you need to hide from the danger we’ve created and that’s really the heart of this record, the feeling that our creations are anything but creative.

‘Trackerplatz’, the album closer, is an ominously gentle foghorn amongst the largely bleak landscape. With its human keys and soft audible guitar strums it suggests 65daysofstatic aren’t quite as cynical as they want to be; it’s almost melodic as it builds into a wall of feedback, which maybe, if we’re lucky, there is some way through.

After 15 years, 65daysofstatic are still as progressive as ever. They were never just a math rock band or a post-rock band, but they have always strove to try new things, to keep learning, to make mistakes, to take on new challenges, and to challenge us. replicr, 2019 may just be a comment on the world today, but it’s just as futuristic as they ever were.