Thing of the Day
Minimalism from Kreidler, maximalism from Achenar
April 8th 2011
KREIDLER – Tank (Bureau B) – There’s a lot of understated flowing energy here; cool, autobahn-driving, restraint and tension. Tank is the latest less-is-more uncluttered Kreidler album, more refreshment from the ever impressive, ever experimental German electronic band. They’re at the New Order-flavoured 70’s disco end of Kraut rock this time, but more of an uncluttered clean-cut thing than that early New Order sound, more the sound that New Order sourced. Precise, minimal, positively repetitive electronic sharp-edged, bass-heavy electronica that flows in that classic way Neu! 75 did. Actually, those cold/warm, slightly sinister bass lines taste of prime Killing Joke (or Faith No More, who got all those lines from Killing Joke anyway), this is indeed one for you bassheads. And this time around Kreidler are a four piece band, a proper one, bass player who can reach for a six string when he needs to, a drummer, a keyboard player and an electronics man - everything clear and defined, a proper proper rock band.
Clean cut electronic glide that in some ways goes back to the
early 90’s feel of Kriedler, and the sound that first got people like
Depeche Mode demanding remixes and such from them. Repetitive
cleverness, alive with detail, every sound, every note, carefully
placed and considered – don’t really know if that is how they construct
their sound, or if this just naturally flows out of them, but every
single detail sounds like it has been thought about and carefully
considered for some time before being placed in the piece. This is
precise music, this is alive with consideration, every note counts,
every sound important. The result is an ever-shifting sound,
refreshing, alive, demanding repeat button pressing time after time..
Minimal electronic Kraut rock in the grand tradition of outfits like
Neu, with just right amount of a disco flavoured side-serving, sparse
funk and We Care A Lot bass lines. One of those classic six track albums - and could it be Kreidler’s finest so far?
ACHENAR – Super Death Explosion Kittens (Earthen) – Some kind of multi-layered wall of glitch, an onslaught, all hectic, dense and machine driven relentlessness, a hell ride of glorious noise. “Oh, what’s this?” shouted a voice from the corner, got people’s ears around here straight away…. Bit of a one trick exploding kitten in terms of a tune and a texture if the truth be told, their one dimensional wall of glitch, electo buzz, static fuzz and saturated drum ‘n bass track-jumping, circuit-jamming and industrial cross-arcing is not an easy listening experience, “- it sounds like Hella meets The Locust!”. When Achenar do kick in with a vocal line or two then they take the dark, moody, machine-driven throaty sinister option, a kind of darker Mike Patton drone to it all; the voice adds a bit of personality to their wall of relentlessly violent texture. Do rather like Achenar’s one trick though. In terms of industrial post-hardcore head-pecking and technical metal shape-shifting, in terms of extremely dense walls of noise this is rather good. There’s some serious drum programming going on here, impressive - indeed, they just crashed the computer with their onslaught of heavy duty glitch. Probably a coincidence...
The band themselves talk of influences such as Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Fantomas and Meshuggah, their referencing of Next Life might be a little closer to the mark (far far closer actually). Really not hearing even a hint of the mighty Sleepytime anywhere in here, but maybe a touch of Faith No More in the throat singing droning of the voice that’s in there within their layers, maybe a touch of Gay Against You with the Locust onslaught and the Hella density, and it isn’t until half way through the seventh and last of the relentless tracks that they really dare to offer any serious kind of melodic light and shade.
Achenar are like a package of dark chocolate digestive biscuits, great at the start, give me give me give me… get too far down the packet in one go though, and you’ll seriously start to doubt you ever liked chocolate digestive biscuits in the first place. Hang on, did a bit of surfing, seems to be one person, Duncan Hemingway, up there in the highlands of Scotland. All that open space and he’s making such a full on claustrophobic sound! Do rather like, in small doses, I mean who doesn’t like five or six chocolate digestives with their coffee, a whole packet though? Too much, need a different biscuit, a different flavour, a different crunch, another texture.
Super Death Explosion Kittens is one great idea done rather well, really needs a couple more ideas to go with it before we can truly rave about it…