A Genealogy of Electronica
Today’s electronic genre did not merely materialize overnight to fill the desires of the twenty-first century youth. As with all things EDM had to start somewhere and, for the electronic tones that pound away into the early morning, that start was in Germany. In the ‘70s, rock was evolving and the Germans were experimenting with synths and other electronic instruments creating the sub-genre of krautrock. Electri_City 2 pulls out of this a handful of successful experiments and brings them back into relevance as the similarities between then and now are too much to be denied that the Germans are the fathers of today’s electronica.
Throughout the album, familiar sounds reminiscent of pop-rock, house tracks and psy-trance intermingle, which is incredible when you realize that not only were these track created in the same era but also the same region of Germany. The creativity and diversity are what make this album so intriguing. “Darling Don’t Leave Me” by Robert Gorl bounces along with a groovy bass line that rivals that of nu-disco tracks, and sounds timeless. Along with Gorl stands “Fluss” by Rheingold, “Max” by Pyrolator and the French-sounding track “Etre Assis Ou Danser” by Liaisons Dangereuses. These four tracks are definitely still relevant to today’s genre and are worth a listen if for no other reason than a history lesson.
Where this album falls short is the rock influence that, though interesting, keeps the electronic aspects of these tracks in somewhat of a box. The listener finds themselves wishing that the song would break into something more dynamic and dramatic but most of the tracks plod along with their bubbling back track. This is pretty understandable knowing the time the songs were created, along with the equipment that was available to the artists. Paired with the fact that twelve of the thirteen tracks are in languages other than English make it difficult for one to make a lasting connection to the music.
“Electi_City 2” is overall a pleasant blast from the past that shows the modern electronic scene where they owe their thanks for the sounds that proliferate their neon love. Though not as attention-grabbing as some of today’s productions, these tracks are hits. Some tracks in this album even mirror current subgenres, and could be an intriguing addition to a show’s set list. Any connoisseur of electronica would appreciate this album as its genealogical window to the experimental time that we can thank the Germans for.