Those strange boffins are back dabbling in dimensions in time and space and following up on debut album Kometenbahn from last year. As far as the time is concerned they are manipulating frequencies from around the 70’s and 80’s when Krautrock was in its experimental prime and as for the space, that’s exactly where listening to Spiralo is going to take you. Having just come back down from earth after Frozen Ocean took me headily up there with The Dyson Swarm it’s no problem making a return journey and it goes to show that subject wise and musically as this is not a million miles out of the stratosphere there is always an interest in sonic sound contortions of this kind. The Musikgruppe behind this is not from Germany but from Finland and the space race from its team are put together by various astronauts from Kosmos, Dystopia, Corporate 09, Galactic Travellers, Lord Vicar and Reverend Bizarre, some of which should certainly be on your radar.
This time around we have two mighty numbers ‘Spiralo 1 and 2’ both precisely in orbit for 19:10 and no doubt perfectly constructed for sounding best on shiny round black plastic. Bubbling noises and strange bleeps and pulses quietly settle us into the trip and create an astral atmosphere and we are already in the depths of space itself. It sounds like communications from satellites and there are some other effects building up from keyboards. It’s not music to expect anything loud and abrasive to happen at once, if even at all. Its best just drift along and go with the flow. Ladies and Gentlemen we are floating in space! Warbling sounds speak across the void and some sharper pulsing tones are there to be fixated on. If you know your keyboards you can probably have fun working out what exactly the band are using for the synthesized and sequenced effects. I have read somewhere that the Korg Mono/Poly was one of these. Not being a particular authority on Krautrock although knowing a bit I am not going out on a limb to name bands who this could remind me of. Instead I am left to picture a ship being gently buffeted by a small meteor shower as the first section of this builds up and the ambience becomes more progressively charged. Having said that though there are similarities to another Svart find Nightsatan who are also on my review pile and you will be reading about later. The other much loved blast from the past that this makes me want to drag my vinyl out is ambient album Space by The KLF (yes them of Dr Who infamy and burning a million quid)!
Somewhat adrift and gently doing a spacewalk we find ourselves heading into the second part. Some warped sounds amidst the pulses are a bit like being sucked down some sort of worm hole in space but again it’s all quite gentle. There are some odd gurgling noises too and some of the effects that probably should remind of the likes of the aforementioned Dr Who show instead have me thinking of The Clangers! By the last reel of the album the spiky nuances have got sharper, the whooshes are more prolific and a retro keyboard used in many an old film to make it sound futuristic really enhances the piece. The full effect of everything coming in together (as you were well aware it would) is more than worth the wait as the cosmos expands into a glorious fractal lightshow in the musical sense.
Obviously with some of the names involved here, the label and the fact that the band played Roadburn recently this band and their style have opened up for many who would probably not have normally found themselves listening to this style to discover. I’m happy to find myself among them too as E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr have a compelling authenticity about them that’s very appealing and they are certainly worth buckling up and taking a trip with their sounds.
(7.5/10 Pete Woods)