What I love most about the mercurial and enigmatic No Side Effects is their ability to mix two opposing sounds into a cohesive finished product. On the one hand their synth driven sound is as futuristic and clinical as it comes but it is the dreamy ambience they fashion from those digital building blocks that provides the balance; a haunting and ethereal vibe that is neatly subverts expectations. The result is the sound of the ghost in the machine, technology seemly acquiring emotion, a binary heart beating within the depths of the code and algorithms.
And it is this blend of solidity and intangibility that is the intriguing part, two alien worlds coming together and building a third possibility, a Vangelis-like soundtrack for another, as yet unwritten futuristic noir. If films have suggested possible futures as gleaming utopias or dystopian nightmares, maybe this suggests a more realistic meeting of man, mind and machine. Then again they could just be a couple of guys having fun in the studio. I suspect both are true.