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Electric Orange - Misophonia CD (album) cover

MISOPHONIA

Electric Orange

 

Krautrock

3.97 | 32 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

BrufordFreak
4 stars Coming in at over 72 minutes long, Misophonia represents another monster of an album from Aachen's Krautrock/Kosmische Musik stallwarts, ELECTRIC ORANGE.

1. "Organized Suffering" (18:09) opens with rolling bass line, guitars, drums and high pitch drone revving up, taking about forty seconds to get into full gear. Then, at 2:16, everything shuts down for some synths and three "explosion" distorted guitar/bass strums spread out over about twenty seconds. Synths then take over the lead above drums and occasional distorted bass notes. Heavily treated, animal-like vocalizations pop in and out of the soundscape toward the end of the fifth minute. Then things quiet down again around 5:20. Militaristic drums slowly build from there with bass, vocalizations and synths continuing their play. Psychedelic lead guitar play is slowly, sparsely added into the drum-dominant mix. Things quiet down again around the eight minute mark with guitar, quiet drums, and slowly penetrating mid-pitch synth note working its way into the soundscape, into our minds. At 9:30 there is a subtle shift as rolling bass, synth chords and drums return. At the end of the eleventh minute guitar and synths start to do some interesting if occasional things but at this point this is really a drummer's show. In the thirteenth minute the bass and synths begin some new activity--both attracting more of the listener's attention--but the, just as quickly, everything drops out (again) as if to reset. Modulated synth (or organ?) goes freaky on us while simple drum and bass lines play modest support. The organ really begins to dominate (finally!) and the bass and drums capitulate to create the song's first melodically based groove. The key/chord change at 16:20 almost blows it, but then they get back into it. This sounds almost like a 1960s DOORS or PINK FLOYD jam. Not a great song as it never seems to really get off the ground nor does it truly establish any kind of 'hook' to engage and maintain our interest. (7/10)

2. "Bottledrone" (11:48) starts out as slowly and uneventfully as the opening song--totally synth-dominated--but really kicks in delightfully by the halfway point and remains full and interesting to the end. (9/10)

3. "Demented" (7:51) opens with some spacey Blade Runner-like synth noises before an Indian-like rhythm section jumps into the field at the thirty second mark. Now, this is Kosmisches Musik! The drummer is in an awesome groove in the low end while his cymbal activity is all creative and playful. Slow space synth movement is gradual and constant while heavily treated guitars and basses flit in and out of the soundscape. The synths remind me exactly of Tony Banks' synth play in the second half of GENESIS's "The Waiting Room." I love it! By the sixth minute the bass has actually committed to a steady rhythm track while the guitar and cymbals continue their free form contributions. The instrumentalists slowly recede to allow for a quiet end to the song. (8/10)

4. "Misophonia I" (8:58) opens with deep synth notes and low end bass play with a kind of metronomic, Native American-like low end drum beat. For the first three minutes I can definitely picture native American tribal dancers around the campfire--maybe readying themselves for war. The disturbing and discordant shift during and throughout the fourth minute leads to the establishment of a kind of groovy Buddha Lounge song at the four minute mark. Bass, drums and guitar riffs are all on fixed groove mode while the bouncy synth sounds like he's performing at an Ibiza all-night rave club. Horn-like sounds are layered and echoed during seventh minute to nice effect. This turns out to be the song's last real surprise or shift as things begin to slowly fade over the course of the next two minutes. Interesting song. I'm not sure of its intentions or reasons--nor am I certain if it really works. It is, however, unusual. (8/10)

5. "Shattered" (4:40) opens like a jazz song with some synths, bass, drums and wah-effected guitar riffing his chords over a cute hypnotic groove. The synth and drum play don't quite fit in, but this could almost fit in with some of the 1970s Black Exploitation film scores. The guitar and synth play feel at odds--as if they're in different universes--or, at least, different sound studios. Not a song that I care to hear again. (6/10)

6. "Misophonia II" (1:19) is a brief interlude which sounds as if it could almost be a classical piece that has been heavily, heavily treated and distorted in the psychedelic fashion. (8/10)

7. "Opsis" (5:25) has more of the feel and sound palette of the music from EO's 2014 masterpiece, Volume 10. The zither and horn sounds and calmer, more steady rock rhythm tracks are so nice to hear again! Beautiful if subtle melody! (9/10)

8. "Misophonia III" (17:36) I keep reading about the power and centrality of this song to this album and I have to say, I agree. It is one monster of a song, with an awesomely powerful opening from the keyboard master, Dirk Jan Müller. The development is slow but seemingly methodical, well-planned, and the keyboard drenched soundscape is joyfully drenched with Müller's strokes and washes. It's funny to enjoy so much the minimalist inputs from the band's other three members and just have the keys going solo over the course of the first six minutes. Once the rest of the band join in and establish their trepidous support, Dirk Jan continues to play around, but gradually his keys become more integrated into the weave, even seem to fade to background a bit--though there are the occasional really cool low end chord staccato hits. In the tenth minute, when things feel like they're starting to stagnate, Dirk Jan turns up the gas, puts on the horn synth, thrashes out a few heavy handed chords. Man! is he giving a great Berlin School keyboard exhibition! Volume levels all around amp up at the 12-minute mark, but then back off, leaving a little "Lucky Man" fade into the 13-minute mark. The bass, guitar and constant drum pattern keep it going, though, while DJ Müller again goes on his creative binging. More this, EO! I love it! (10/10)

While I enjoy all of the electronic space experimentation going on beneath the "lead" instruments by keyboard specialist Dirk Jan Müller, I find this album less cohesive and engaging than either Volume 10 or Morbus. I often find myself feeling as if the oceans of synth heaven going on beneath and the instrumental action above (or below) are disconnected--like sea and air--sea and mud.

Still, this is a nice 3.5 to four star album which I'm rating up for the monster epic "Misophonia III". A nice addition to any prog rock music collection.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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