Following hot on the heels of 2009’s “Again”, “Traits” will not let any fans down at all, showcasing perfectly the German duo’s inimitable blend of complex rhythms and tense atmospheres. In addition to that fine contrast of distorted beats and clean synths we’ve come to know and love, there are of course a few new surprises to be enjoyed here.
incite/ – Dare to Dance
The album definitely has a particular character, sounding different from contemporary acts, and repeated listening increases appreciation. There are certainly plenty of things happening, showing definite programming skills, but the stop-start and constant changing can be infuriating.
Libido Formandi – Insignificancy Rising
Libido Formandi is a curious name, bringing to mind suggestions of an awakening sexuality and growing lust. There are surely many sexy and cool moments in this album, but overall the sounds contained within are far too dark and harsh for seducing an unsuspecting victim!
Orphx – Radiotherapy
“Radiotherapy” is a subtle, somehow fragile, blend of simultaneously complex and simple rhythmic elements; insistent blips and cracks emerge, always appealing, never irritating. Stepping down from the harder, pounding beats of albums such as “Insurgent Flows”, this new work is a welcome return to the more atmospheric tones of earlier times.
Tábor Radosti – Agartta
It would have been preferable to have more original Tábor Radosti work, especially after such a long wait since the last album, but that is just one of a couple of minor complaints about what is generally a quite enjoyable piece of very dark electronica.
Flint Glass/Polarlicht 4.1/Transistor – Zoran’s Equation
With a fantastical yet intriguing story as the scene, we have this three-way collaboration piece to provide the soundtrack. Highly respected French artist Flint Glass has teamed up with lesser known, closely related German acts Polarlicht 4.1 and Transistor to offer 45 minutes of ice-cold atmospheres and dark archaeological beats.
Celluloide – Hexagonal
For all you synthpop lovers out there, especially if you like to flirt with electronic body music, or if you are rather moved by the voices of French ladies, this one would be a well-deserved addition to your collection. And if you only quite like synthpop, have a listen anyway, you might like what you hear.
Troum – Autopoiesis / Nahtscato
If you’re new to Troum, this could be a good starting point, although the only real complaint, which might put newcomers off, would be that occasionally things may become repetitive and overly simple. But for the main part, here are some really fine, deep drones!
Flutwacht – …mit nichts…
Sometimes you have to be very patient when listening to experimental music. Sometimes it takes quite a long time for anything of interest to happen. But often, when you’re patient and stop demanding instant gratification, you will hear something really powerful.
Kraken – Strop
I believe one clear indication of the quality of a piece of dark ambient is how detailed and bizarre the scenes the music can paint in your mind… I can only conclude that “Strops” really is one of those albums.