Friday, 27 January 2012

Review: Alog

Alog – Unemployed (Rune Grammofon)
Fans of crunching Krautrock should be aware, they’re living in interesting times and should be aiming their attention northwards. Indeed, fans of ethereal avant-post-rock, ambient drones, field recordings and hydrogenised flights of lucid fancy should also be taking notes. On “Unemployed”, their fifth album, Norwegian duo Espen Sommer Eide and Dag-Are Haugan expand their repertoire and explore strange new soundscapes. The variety and breadth of music (sound, noise – whatever you feel comfortable calling it…) astounds, as nothing appears beyond them or out of bounds.

Vocals flicker and fade, invariably treated with electricity and disguised by current, rhythms disjoint and dissipate, and digital beats and grooves rise and fall like ancient computer civilizations. It’s epic and grand, ambitious, mindbending and sometimes overpowering. Some foolish people argue that difficult music isn’t worth bothering with – it’s rewards never compensating for the time and effort taken to ‘get it’. They’re sadly mistaken, and Alog, for all their idiosyncrasies and wayward tones, make the journey just as invigorating as the arrival.
Simon M.

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