Digits “Do What It Takes” (Exclusive)

12 Nov 2012 — Henning Lahmann

Chapter Six: Do What It Takes

You think that you're a good man.

But everything is built on sand.

Months pass as J wanders through the wasted countryside near the Borderline, traveling alone after a companion betrayed him. He marches cautiously along the highway, carrying a heavy pack, hand near his gun, searching for a gas station that will hopefully prove safer to hole up in than the last one. He's starving but he's gotten used to the feeling. Nothing left to live for, he doesn't know why he still tries. But you do what it takes to stay alive.


This was, dear reader, the sixth chapter of Digits' ongoing opus In the City of the Dead, the story of journalist J and his struggle in the eponymous forsaken township sometime in the all-too-near future. The previous parts of the bleak and breathtaking tale, of course all accompanied by a superb new song by Alt Altman's seminal synth-pop project, may be read over at 20JFG, Dummy, WAWSTSF, Listen Before You Buy, Silent Shout, and Prefix (in this order). In the City of the Dead is a grand statement and artistically more ambitious than anything we've seen in 2012, undeniably bold and presumably born out of hubris - just as every truly great tragedy should be. Musically, as we've come accustomed to with Digits, "Do What It Takes" is as cutting edge as outré synth pop can get these days, an abundant, bourgeoise transmission in full CinemaScope, slowly building up tension before the sudden release sets in by means of an unexpected, almost cynically upbeat synthline and Altman's repeated, constrained uttering of the apologetic line, "You do what it takes to stay alive". Things are surely getting tough for J. Stay tuned.