Videodrones — Atavistic Future
(El Paraiso EPR052, 2019, LP / DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-08-08
This Danish synth duo is comprised of Jakob Skøtt and Kristoffer Ovesen, the former being a founding member of the great Causa Sui in addition to having a half dozen solo albums to his credit, while Ovesen is a member of Uku Maze and is also involved with Laserblast. Atavistic Future is their third full length collaboration since 2016's Mondo Ferox, perhaps their most ambitious and powerful effort to date. The spirit of the five cuts here is at once experimental and improvised, sometimes drawing influence from classic minimalism, at other times recalling the early efforts of Kraftwerk and Neu! (before the robots took over) but with more contemporary electronics. The opener, "Venetian Blinds," is a kinetic piece that plays in multiple layers, sequenced beams with a gritty bottom underneath and superlative melodies intertwined. From there we move to the heavily sequenced "Church," offering a repetitive and manic mindblowing sequenced adventure, reminiscent of some of the more aggressive elements of the Berlin school, changing keys in steps as it goes forward. The title track delivers on the spirit of early Kraftwerk, as experimental and improvised as they get, yet the piece grooves nicely over its near twelve-minute duration with plenty of surprises stirring up the elements along the way. The slow-paced "Phase Sights" offers three and a half minutes of electronic power at its finest, while the mysterious closer "Zeta Beacon" goes forward at a ponderous pace while the pitch quivers and drifts just enough to make the piece suitably disorienting, like someone is slowing down the tape on some of the layers as the piece goes forward, putting it squarely in experimental territory. All taken, a great collection of ideas and influences.
Related artist(s): Videodrones
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