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Harmonie Andy Thomas , September 27th, 2013 03:39

Like their Düsseldorf contemporaries Kreidler, Gordon Pohl and Gerhard Michel are mining the city's musical past to fuel the future. The three EPs and one LP the pair has recorded since 2005 have felt detached from any Krautrock revival though.

That has been due in large part to the programming of Pohl whose ear for a groove was evident right from Der Schmetterling, a debut EP that provided dance floor weapons for the likes of Prins Thomas. While Pohl's education came in the DJ booth and studio, Michel was a student of the old school being mentored by Klaus Dinger of his hometown legends Neu! and La Düsseldorf. Also only released in Germany on the small Amontillado label (now home to Propaganda whose 'Valley of the Machine Gods' 12” was remixed by the duo), Musiccargo's debut LP Hand in Hand became something of a cult item.

It drew the ears of Stuart Leith whose various Emotional Recordings labels have already been responsible for equally cultish reissues by the likes of Suns of Arqua as well as new electronic productions by Timothy J Fairplay and Jamie Paton. The second LP from Musiccargo sits perfectly on the label.

While the comparisons with the kosmiche movement are certainly well founded, the opening track 'Domino' brings to mind the Durutti Column. And in fact the whole LP is indebted as much to the meditative hypnotics of Vini Reilly as Harmonia and Cluster. The band have been calling this new music 'Adult Kraut', a purer sound that reaches a peak on tracks like 'Das Buch'.

There are touches of the motorik pulse that propelled bands like Neu! but the music here is far more delicate. The ambient drones of 'Sol Lucet Omnibus' (meaning appropriately The Sun Shines For All) could have come from an old Jose Padilla mix tape. But there is also a darkness here that belies the surface light, a creeping menace that disturbs the ambience of a track like 'Tip Top'.

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