Tehnoloogiline Päike is the brainchild of Estonian producer Evar Anvelt. He began the project in 2004, and since the addition of collaborator Mihkel Kõrvits in 2007 this strange, seemingly marginal electronica outfit have become an Estonian national treasure. Their 2011 album Kõige Pikem Päev won Album of the Year at the 2012 Estonian Music Awards in the Indie Music category, and they were given full use of the Estonian Symphonic Orchestra and Choir to create an innovative multimedia concert the same year. Their new album, technically a self-titled work because it is a direct English translation of their name, Technological Sun, has been hotly anticipated in Estonia as well as in the electronic music world.
“Breaking It” is the first single off Technological Sun. The album is meant to be a very personal interpretation of someone struggling with depression. Anvelt brought on well-known singer, Hannaliisa Uusma to help with the sound and emotions on this album, but she doesn’t appear on “Breaking It.” Anvelt is the sole vocalist on the (thankfully) all-English track. His voice may remind some listeners of James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem, and indeed this song itself feels a little like Murphy’s style. Anvelt is much more free-form and experimental than his American counterpart on “Breaking It,” however, with a number of different styles and beat structure.
The track opens with the unexpected combination of a syncopated breakcore-style beat and classical organ, a’la Phantom of the Opera. These two seemingly clashing styles juxtaposed in this way give Anvelt the opportunity to layer on pretty much any other style or combination of styles he chooses. Those styles are modern indie vocals done in a round with 80s starburst samples introducing them and 80s indie in the breaks.
The lyrics in “Breaking It” also deserve a mention. They tend to dissolve into the all the effects and syncopation of the music but in the context of Anvelt’s wanting to explore the conditions of depression, they add to the profound nature of said music. “I’m breaking it; the time I’m frozen in,” is the most repeated verse, and speaks to frozen feeling sufferers of depression often experience. The seemingly haphazard syncopated beat could represent the confusion when this feeling first comes on. The drama of the effort it takes to break through that feeling is represented by the intense organ track, and the momentary joy of actually breaking through to take a breath is the starburst synth sample. The interplay between lyrics and music here makes “Breaking It’ an even more profound track.