CD, Telegrammetry/Hypervoxx, 2007
Steeped in orchestral bombast and danceable drama, this current release from the Greek duo Akron makes for challenging but enjoyable listening. Eloquent as it is unrestrained, Akron combine classical virtuosity with digital expression in equally structured but emotive parts.
Opening with a simple, tense arrangement and militaristic percussion on “Epilogue”, a listener might wonder what they’re in for – it could be incidental music for some European fantasy the way operatic vocals swim through this rigid framework, it could be the start of straightforward electro or new classical but it serves more to set a mood and a theme.
Suitably knocked over, it kicks into higher gear with “Action-2x reaction” fuzzy bass and hooks again echo EBM, but the way Akron flourish their synthetic strings they offer an almost disco flair – I doubt this was intentional, but I was seized by it all the same.
The euro-dance of “Chronicles “is played out in front of an icy curtain of soundtrack material – and first jumps out of and slides into regular timing. Though sometimes rendered impersonal and over the top by a lack of main vocals and big chords, Akron will approach with beats and progressions a bit more inventively and fully than many electronic artists have lately – and do it smoothly.
Adding to what is a pretty cold palette of computer and orchestra sounds, “I failed you” opens with simple acoustic piano and swells and crashes into a boot-stomping combination of cutting metallic drums and pulsing electro grounding and sweetens again.
There are echoes of the emotion of more mainstream dark dance acts like VNV Nation or Covenant but where some changes in mood will leave some of the more jaded amongst us reaching for a bucket, Akron achieve conveying joy and sadness in a more swallowable format. “Resurrection” is evidence of this, with faint dirge like presences adding a mysterious feminine glow to the music.
Overall? Akron claim and breathe life into a bit of electro territory through offering an album that shows undervalued musical schooling and heartfelt enthusiasm. Although more vocal presence would give listeners a point to identify with, and there are yards of as-yet unexplored sounds for them to touch on, it’s the brightest thing I’ve heard in a while. It can be overwhelming at times, but it should be appreciated for just that.
— James Ryan