Music » Band of the Week

Various Artists

Forcefeed (409)


Let's face it, the 409 collective's mission statement -- "fusing form with function, idea with object, signal with noise" -- sounds like a slogan from an Ikea ad. Thankfully, though, 409 has packed a lot more substance into this compilation of minimal electronic music than the Swedish put into their scrawny, post-modern home furnishings.

Matt Mercer makes two of the meatiest contributions under the name SYSTM. Both "Desperate Measures" and "Spill" mine the post-everything territory of Plaid, laying down hip-hop beats and stuttering digital synth decay that recede at just the right moments. This enables Mercer's serene piano melodies to emerge with maximum soulful impact. On "Couch," "Neckrem," and "Sounds From the Bedroom," Dan Merk strikes a similarly satisfying balance between off-kilter dissonance and soothing microtonal ambiance. All told, Forcefeed does a remarkable job of plotting its own narrative, keeping the listener engaged in the shifting sonic story until midway through the disc, when the cuts begin to sag -- right along with listeners' attention spans.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.