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Föllakzoid - I CD (album) cover

I

Föllakzoid

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.09 | 3 ratings

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TCat
Forum & Site Admin Group
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
3 stars Föllakzoid is a psychedelic/space rock band from Chile that was founded in 2008. Originally comprised of 4 members who had experience in making different genres of music, the members began working together by creating long jams and then perfecting them while retaining their organic feel. They have released 4 full-length albums since 2009 starting with a self titled album, then numbering them as "II" and "III". Their fourth album, released in August of 2019, is simply entiteled "I".

In the past, the band had worked mostly off of recorded jams that were recorded more off the cuff. This time around, the band took three months to record their music, the basic tracks, after which they sent them off to their producer, who was not present during the initial recording, to re-organize the 60 tracks into 4 tracks without any guidelines. The four tracks that make up this album is the result of this experiment. The overall run-time for the album is one hour.

"I" (17:00) starts off the album with the noise of a deep bell and a oscillating drone that seems to grow from those sound waves. A ticking percussion thumps along as tones come and go and echoing clangs throb with the percussion. This all builds slowly, more effects and sounds being added as it goes, and an increase of volume. It is all quite fascinating as the sound grows, creating something unique and almost trancelike, but interesting enough to make the listener want to keep their ears open for all the changes that keep coming along in the form of repeated notes with echoing and oscillating sound. No melody is apparent, it is all a rhythmic soundscape with leanings towards krautrock and space rock. The sound decreases somewhat towards the middle of the track, but some elements rise further far above the drone and pulse that continues deep in the mix. Strange vocal effects start appearing at the 10 minute mark with indiscernable sounds and vocalizations. This music definitely requires headphones for the best result. It will definitely take your head into another world if you lose yourself in it.

The electronic manipulation continues in "II" (13:00). The first track flows into the 2nd, but it quickly establishes a new sound with a faster and more apparent beat. A drone continues underneath this beat, and steady, sustained tones slowly increase and decrease in volume while the beat remains at a constant volume. Flickering sounds also come and go sounding very percussive also and these sounds are manipulated to sometimes fade and other times to be cut off abruptly. The trance-like aspects are even more apparent here as the beat is more relentless, but it changes before the 5 minute mark and becomes more instrumentally derived by repeated effects bringing out random notes of various instruments. There is a sustained synth anchoring everything as it goes along. Later, the percussion returns as before and various sounds and effects continue to throb in time with the percussion, but once in a while, an effect will run in contrast to the percussion. At about the 11th minute, the sounds slowly return to the single drone layer as the rhythm continues to beat almost to the end, but it soon fades until nothing is left but the drone.

"III" (17:00) begins with a dark drone that increases in intensity as notes warble underneath. Pretty soon, the drone has taken over everything and the only sounds escaping are sustained, thick, dark tones that grow and fade as the airy, yet dark drone continues. Processed vocal effects start to emerge from the drone with a deep, robotic tone that will make you feel a bit uneasy. After the 5 minute mark, these vocals disappear, but the drone remains and sustained effects swirl around it. Finally a percussive quick throb starts to mark a passage of time, but it also remains subdued beneath the drone layer. Some of the tones become more apparent from time to time, but make repeated effects as in the previous track, keeping in time with the moderate rhythm. The same elements and effects that were interesting in the first two tracks are beginning to seem redundant at this stage in the album as the track continues. Suddenly after 11 minutes, the intensity of the drone is cut back and the bass and guitar effects are more apparent and the track seems to have been born from short snatches of random surf punk guitar chords. The ticking cymbal stops after a while and electronic synth effects bring back the drone and the spooky vocal effects. The track builds again as the rhythmic elements get heavier and the drone fights to keep control. Everything finally cools off and fades into the next track.

"IIII" (13:00) unfortunately, quickly takes off right away with that incessant beat and once again, throbbing and free floating effects whirl around with percussive noises and glitchy sounds. During the 4th minute, there is quite an intense, sustained build from the drone that ebbs and flows for a while. More spacey, vocal effects come in during the 9th minute, but the constant throbbing of the beat and effects continue endlessly along.

So, what starts off as a very interesting experiment in sound ends up not really changing enough within it's hour long run time to stay interesting. The biggest variation in overall sound comes in the first and last part of "III" when the drone is allowed to take over for a while, but for the most part, the music remains trance-like and never really deviates much from the original patterns formulated in "I". Unless you are listening closely, you might not detect much variance between the tracks. I felt it all started off very strong with the introduction of the elements and soundscapes, but when things don't really change amongst the rest of the album, it gets rather redundant. I would rather have had 4 distinct tracks which experimented beyond that trance-like element and utilizing the same effect styles into infinity. What you end up with is 4 tracks that sound pretty much the same and not really creating distinct soundscapes. I'll give this one a 3 star rating, but mostly because of the first track as it all sounds interesting at first, but gets boring as it continues because of not enough variance in the overall sound.

TCat | 3/5 |

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