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Electric Orange - Encoded CD (album) cover


Electric Orange


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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Now this is different! I like variety--and bands that experiment and grow. The album starts out with some very unusual and different sounds and styles (for Dirk Jan Müller) but then seem to revert to more traditional Kosmische Musik forms and styles. I would love to hear more "new" stuff like the opening song, but, still, I do love the serious dedication Electric Orange puts into their Krautrock revival releases.

1. "Partial Encode" (8:33) an excellent and refreshing opener using vocoded voice for vocals and a kind of straightforward Euro-rock groove to engage and hypnotize us. In the sixth minute the vocals get muddy and the music seems to "lose its way" (purposely), but the rhythm section slowly recovers in the seventh minute and we end on the hypnotic groove that started it all. (18/20)

2. "Low" (2:53) a very spacey, Blade Runner-like interlude. (4.25/5)

3. "Ekoshock" (8:05) Kosmische organ play with fast-pulsing bass underneath, both intensifying into a swirling cacophony before an American voice sample is used to bridge into a more hypnotic and traditional Kosmische rhythm track. Guitars and organ add incidental noises from beneath or from the periphery while the pagan dance rave goes on in the center. Very hypnotic and trance psychedelic. (13.25/15)

4. "Ghost In A Bag" (5:51) themed around the invisible that is electricity, there is a JIMI HENDRIX-like feel and construction to this one with lots of feedback and extemporaneous vocals thrown at us from all directions. At 2:05 a British-voiced psychedelic talk-vocal enters and takes the lead. Very trippy. In the fourth minute, after the voice has finished his incantation, a more heavy psych rock song takes form and carries on until the chanter returns around the five minute mark. Very cool, different, and interesting. (8.75/10)

5. "Prawn (3:32) more spacey synths, syncopated electric guitar hits, tribal drumming and bass rolling in the low end. Very traditional Krautrock of the CAN/TD order. (8/10)

6. "Passage (8:42) another Kosmische jam combining he space synth/keyboard sounds of TANGERINE DREAM-like music with the low end rhythm section of JAKI and HOLGER. The keys are the highlight at the forefront while the steadiness of the rhythm tracks provide the ocean of transport necessary to enjoy the show. (17.75/20)

Total Time 37:36

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of modern Kosmische Musik and a wonderful contribution to the prog lexicon. If you're craving some wonderfully engineered trance-inducing Kosmische Musik, this is your album to check out.

Report this review (#2416893)
Posted Thursday, July 2, 2020 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars A new album from Germany's neo krautrock flagship ELECTRIC ORANGE. Relatively short, but yet again rather essential. At first glance all remains stable in 2020. I'm talking about the line up, as well as the basic stylistical trademarks in the same way. In an inimitable manner they are operating in loops, are blending mysterious soundscapes, soaring psychedelic explorations, and unusual hypnotic beats into their very own sonic cosmos. According to that the quartet is serving a matchless atmosphere as usual. Though yet variations are given anyhow, that's for sure. For example vocals respectively voices clearly are having a bigger role this time, served by both the Dirk's in one way or another. Just take the enigmatic and masterful opener Partial Encode which comes with swinging groove and a vocoder modified extraterrestrial conversation.

Low delivers a spheric and ambient synthesizer roundtrip. That's Dirk Jan Müller's playground and origin, also highly praised for his electronic project Cosmic Ground. But, if necessary, he can also operate the more traditional Hammond organ sound. Ekoshock and the following Ghost In The Bag prove this, where the vocals are deriving from a weird exotic location somehow. Woahhhhh! Solely the track Pawn falls back a little, appearing to my ears more like a filler, maybe a leftover from the previous 'EOXXV' recordings. Hey, okay, the band has a really huge discography available, hence occasionally there will be intersections of course. 'Encoded' may not necessarily be their best album ever, but this is definitely solid, unique and entertaining stuff for your experimental pleasure.

Report this review (#2420411)
Posted Saturday, July 18, 2020 | Review Permalink

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