Music

Kreidler: Tank

Tank went from twinkle in Kreidler's eye to fully-realized longplayer in less than two total weeks of work, and nothing about it sounds the least bit raw or unfinished.


Kreidler

Tank

Label: Bureau B
UK Release Date: Import
US Release Date: 2011-03-15
Internet Release Date: 2011-03-04
Website
Artist Website
Amazon
iTunes

There's a cold, clinical sound to Tank, the latest album from Germany's Kreidler, but it is also a pure sound. Kreidler have been making music for nearly 20 years, and the comfort that this band's members enjoy in making music with one another is palpable. Live drums and bass back unabashedly synthetic keyboards and electronics, yet there is no true dissonance to be found in the combination; like the best of their krautrock progenitors, Kreidler find a way to marry the organic with the mechanic, creating a sound that finds both components compromising themselves a bit for the sake of meeting in the middle.

The purity of sound offered by Kriedler on Tank is actually a product of the members' comfort not only with each other but with the sound that they collectively produce. Tank is an entirely instrumental album, without so much as a single sampled voice, unless you count the choir sounds in closer "Kremlin", which sound far more likely to be the product of an instrument button on a vintage keyboard than any sort of actual sample. Each track contains roughly the same balance of the electronic and the organic, which makes one wonder whether Kreidler is capable of anything more, though the variance in sound from track to track is a constant reminder that of course they are capable of "more", whatever that means -- they simply choose to play in their comfort zone. This is doubly understandable once you realize that they spent all of five days writing and performing the thing in the studio and another eight or so doing post-production.

Tank is an album that went from twinkle in Kreidler's eye to fully-realized longplayer in less than two total weeks of work, and nothing about it sounds the least bit raw or unfinished. It is six tracks of professional-grade atmosphere, six sinister moods over six metronomic beats.

No track on the album exemplifies this balance as much as the third track, "Jaguar", and that trait is likely borne of the track's electronic emphasis. Starting with (and spending much of its time repeating) a single note in a syncopated pattern and augmenting it with percussive machinery from the outset, Kreidler certainly establish a sound in the listener's head. The bass and drums show up not long after those two elements, and while they certainly sound warmer than the electronics which open the track, they never steal the identity. It sounds overwhelmingly electronic for its duration, even as the "actual instruments" are pushed to the front of the mix. There is no virtuosity to be found, and that is to Kreidler's benefit. It is emblematic of an album entirely devoid of ego.

Closer "Kremlin Rules" is just as impressive, even as it finds Kreidler pulling off a trick that they avoid for the rest of the album. Namely, after starting with a pensive, tension-laden slow burn for two-and-a-half minutes, drummer Thomas Klein takes a ten-second break before double-timing his beat into something driving and militaristic. Taking his cue, the rest of the band starts adding more straightforward minor key melodies into their own parts, eventually turning the whole thing into something you might hear over the end credits of a Tim Burton movie.

It's difficult to put into print just how none of this comes off as boring, how so much of it sounds so carefully crafted and molded despite the whirlwind production period. Think about the ways that you can hear the humor and satire inherent in a Kraftwerk record, or the pure emotion in one of Tangerine Dream's more abstract synth workouts -- you're halfway there. Tank features nothing approaching innovation, but it is a worthwhile listen nonetheless; as a study in balance and thematic consistency, it is astonishing.

7

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

Keep reading... Show less

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image