Close your eyes and merge into Benedikt Frey’s 'Fastlane'. Imagine sitting in the driver’s seat of a an automobile, one with exceptional horsepower and torque, as you stare out the windshield at the red light, warping in fata-morgana a mile down the road. It’s a straight-away, a black top with two lanes, and against your better judgment you decide to floor the gas. No hesitation in your muscle, your ankle or the ball of your foot, which you now realize is some kind of universal pivot, the first point of contact fusing your body with the will of machine. In this moment you’re in awe that you, a human, an animal, grew from pond scum into something so advanced as to engineer this thing, a mechanical beast capable of overwhelming power and exhilaration. But you also feel a seductive dread, an outside force diverting you from caution toward a dangling carrot of curiosity, asking yourself, ‘How far can I take this thing?’ The dread, now a constant, is numbed, equalized by an adverse intoxicating gratification. You feel both sensations in real time, however, rather than take responsibility for yourself, friends, family and innocent bystanders, you cement your foot to the floor and lean your head back. Noise around you fades to mute. Smell the benzene-scented air, feel the wind on your face, the menacing vibration of the vessel you control beneath you and every grain of asphalt under its tires. This mile has now lasted an eternity and you’ve left your body for some objective view, as if watching climax of a film. Past the point of no return, you embrace abandon and lean into fate. The film becomes slow motion, a crawling pace so mesmerizing you convince yourself of an option to eject yourself from this madness, but as you finally let go of your last morsel of fear, you run the red light head-on into the nucleus of a fantastic glistening sculpture of torn metal, glass, oil, broken dreams and heartache. 'Fastlane' may be just drum machines and synthesizers if you’re timid, but listen harder and know the catastrophic reality of existence, a wreckage so gruesome we dare not rubberneck, but afterall it is our nature to stare.
Published: 13th July 2023