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Electric Orange - Misophonia CD (album) cover


Electric Orange



3.78 | 41 ratings

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4 stars Offering in their twenty-five-plus year career everything from colourful retro-prog, electronica/dance and even psych-pop party blowouts (the cool stop-gap release `Nein! HITS à Gogo!' from 2015!), unpredictable German group Electric Orange delivered a masterwork in 2014 with their moody and atmospheric Neo-Krautrock stunner `Volume 10', and they're back two years later with another refinement of their sound, `Misophonia'. This time around, the instrumental band offer a heavily- improvised collection of eclectic sounds that moves through everything from ambient, Post-Rock, drone and psychedelic flavours, even some light New-Wave touches all woven to their lengthy Krautrock jams, with the band constantly displaying a masterful control of mood, build and atmosphere throughout.

Eighteen-minute opener `Organized Suffering' is constantly rhythmically driven, frequently racing with an up-tempo momentum by way of rippling psychedelic cascades, parched guitar clamour and hovering electronic drifts, with little traces here and there even calling to mind the Delerium Records-era of Porcupine Tree. Dirk Bittner's guitars slink with everything from a cool Eighties sleekness, bluesy bends and stuttering spasms, Tom Rückwald's heavy bass grumbles seductively, and the closing section hums warmly with toasty thick Hammond organ and congas. `Bottledrone' opens as a lulling ambient drone over fuzzy embracing guitar caresses that reminds of the Ash Ra Tempel, Ashra and Manuel Göttsching before catching fire with Dirk Jan Müller's bleeding vintage electronics unravelling over Georg Monheim's rising energetic drumming. 'Demented' is a percussion-driven piece over shimmering ambient washes and murkily grooving guitar strums, the loose New-Wave flavoured guitar-driven `Shattered' almost grooves in the manner of the `Beat-...Perfect Pair' King Crimson era, and `Opsis' glistens with chiming mandolin mystery.

The almost thirty minute title-piece `Misophonia' is spread out over three tracks at various intervals throughout the disc. The first piece opens as a dusty distorted drone that grows in relentless power from ringing bluesy guitar and heavy dreamy electronics, the second is a hazy rumbling interlude, but the third and final act is a full-blown seventeen-minute epic. This album closer starts as a howling and wavering throb that spontaneously explodes to life with rattling drums, roaring guitar snarls, seeping electronic bleeds and looping Tangerine Dream-like machine repetition. It's a masterclass in brooding intensity and spiky danger, with delicious little traces of that precious early Pink Floyd fragility emerging throughout.

Once again mastered by frequent EO collaborator and Grobschnitt's leader/drummer Eroc, `Misophonia' perhaps doesn't quite reach the defining atmospheric heights and carefully sustaining mood of `Volume Ten', but it absolutely presents a band still exploring, refusing to merely recreate the sounds of the past, and challenging both themselves and their listeners. Electric Orange successfully bring vintage Krautrock sounds rumbling into the modern age and fuses it with a range of other styles, and this intoxicating, slow-burn hypnotic album ranks amongst their best releases to date.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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