Black and blue
Föllakzoid is in search of a dark minimal utopia. A place where Lynchian atmospheres coalesce with hypnotic rhythms, brought into existence with the use of the cold uncaring drum machines and guitar pedal fetishizations. The Chilean band’s style of krautrock is minimal and filled with the tingle of spacious tension. Beats go on and on and the droney guitars and synths drown you in a bath of sonic derangement. The band’s newest album I cold, emotionally lost and is essentially minimal techno with guitars. A combo that is always interesting but not always engaging.
The track “I” begins life with a repetitive 4 on the floor kick coupled with a singular repeating bass note on every 1 and 3. This core rhythm almost lasts for 17 minutes, a repeating motif for the rest of the band to experiment in using freaked out delayed guitars and warped samples. The music is thoughtful and interesting, swaths of reverb and fuzz create a textural goop of meditative sound.
“II” is epic and pulsating, guitar voices are molded and stretched into black and blue clouds of sonic artifact. Subdued are the techno drums, grounding the uneasy mashing of effect drenched noises. There is plenty of progression, the feeling of mysterious waves growing in energy and slowly subsiding. The tone is locked but the intensity is ever-morphing. “III” and “IIII” share a similar formula and soundscape as the previous tracks. More synths are added, drawn-out sounds rearranged into 17-minute meditations. Beyond the wonderful sense of mystery and unease created by these tracks, there is an emotional one-dimensionality. Dare to say a vocal sample or less abstraction in certain spots would make for a more cathartic experience.
I is a cohesive and focused display of minimalism done with care, nothing is being overdone yet nothing is being risked. The improvisational morphings of dark sounds are lovely and evoke a calm sense of dread. The soup is missing an ingredient, yet it will be interesting to see where the band will take this sound.