As soon as the drums come in on the song “Escape from Witchtropolis” you can tell exactly what is going to happen. It’s just got that perfect krautrock sound: the motorik beat, barely audible syncopated hi-hat and completely lacking in the drum-fill department. Some of the retro synth sounds remind of RJD2′s work to a certain extent. On top of all that I think that the track is perfectly named, with it’s winding, demented sounding lead line adding a whole new element to the mix.
There’s a lot going on across “Escape…” from the aforementioned brooding synths, to the bombastic percussion of “The Feral Kids,” which makes good use of the piano as a percussion instrument; those loud low end attacks really give you the force of the low fundamental with just a hint of the brightness from the upper partials. Colder synths prevail on “This is a War Universe,” working in all dimensions by adding a spaciousness to the recording. Though the synths are going direct, the piano has been recorded with a lot of room noise this time, opening up the recording dramatically. Still, though, “This is a War Universe” is largely a synth affair, continuing to capture the brooding atmosphere presented on previous tracks.
Espectrostatic also finds the time to play with form, shuttling from the more familiar structures of the beautifully contrapuntal, “The Obelisk” and the title track, to tracks that express an environment in their one-part form such as “Sinking into the Microverse.”
“Espectrostatic” is the solo project of Alex Cuervo of the Hex Dispensers. “Escape from Witchtropolis” is out now on Chicago’s Trouble in Mind records. You can purchase the album as a download from his bandcamp. The album is also available as a CD that comes in a gatefold miniature LP-style cardboard sleeve, or as an LP from the Trouble in Mind site.
Let’s keep that kraut-rock thread going. Today I’ve got another bass-ostinato driven psych-kraut-synth-rock track. This one is coming to us from a Swiss duo going by Klaus Johann Grobe (should it be Große?…anyway…) this track is from their latest LP, “Im Sinne Der Zeit.” It’s another long track, but this one isn’t really that much of a slow burn, it’s more of a steady continuous groove. The bass, with it’s perfect tone that sounds like it’s taking its cues from War’s “Low Rider” stands right out front, guiding and harnessing everything else that swirls and shifts around it. When it eventually drops out for about 30 seconds around the 2:39 mark we have the only break in the song with a dynamic that suddenly shifts down to next to nothing but doesn’t waste time building back up, and instead just jumps right back into things.
Sure, the bass may be the central thing, and the easiest element of the track to focus on, but there’s also some interesting keyboard work on what sounds like a Farfisa cutting across steady harmony and shifting it ever so slightly in a move to help change up the sound a bit. It’s things like those subtle shifts that holds a track like this together and allows it to go on for 10+ minutes while still making sense, not becoming redundant.
“Im Sinne Der Zeit” was released earlier this week (April 29th) by Trouble In Mind, and you can grab a copy here. The color vinyl was limited to 250 (and is sold out) BUT the black vinyl is available & unlimited! They’ve also just recently released a 45 called “Traumhaft” that can be purchased from their site. You can also follow the band on Facebook.
If you are in the EU you can also catch them live later this month:
16.05.2014 London UK
17.05.2014 Liverpool UK
18.05.2014 Northampton UK
20.05.2014 Leeds UK
21.05.2014 London UK
22.05.2014 Manchester UK
23.05.2014 Stoke UK
24.05.2014 Reading UK
06.06.2014 Winterthur CH
07.06.2014 Schaffhausen CH