With a name inspired by a crisis in the life of Carl Jung, and a sound that bolts claustrophobically dark, oblique metaphor onto contemporary electronics and effect-laden guitars, Miniature Cities is a three piece that wants to get under the skin of its listeners.
The name? In 1913, one of the two fathers of psychodynamics, Carl Jung, felt he was close to madness. He had turned his back on his early work with his mentor Freud; broken-hearted and burned out, he embarked on a mental exploration in search for the root of unconscious imbalance. From his own experiences, Carl Jung proposed the theory of our Archetypes within our unconscious that are their own individual entities, their own independent organisms, their own living cities. A theory echoing the miniature cities Jung would often make as a child. They appear in dreams and visions, each with their own symbolism, communicating our own unconscious back to us; a message often ignored.
Compulsion is what pushes the band. "What you can't admit creates guilt, and pressure and frustration," says lyricist Joe Barnby, who threw aside a Neuroscience PhD to form the band. "You take that out on yourself; you don't understand why you're lashing out. Lyrically, that's what the band's about. That pressure, the way that things are difficult, people are difficult, it's hard to understand even your own feelings or whether they're even your own feelings in the first place. Everyone's pent up and frustrated and no-one is giving an inch. London isn't an easy place right now, and it's pushing people to their limits."
The result is intense, mesmerising performance, and the band's sound takes as much inspiration from today's offbeat bass-music rhythms as its own experiments with earlier genres. With bassist Alex McDowell modernising a dubby bottom, drawn from Trip-Hop and 90s Hip-Hop, and guitarist Daniel Hernandez experimenting with a wall of hard-driven effects pedals, the result is compulsive, melancholy, danceable and musically nimble.
Enter the collective unconscious today.
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