Wednesday, May 27, 2020
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Artist: FORMA (@)
Title: OFF/ON
Format: CD
Label: Spectrum Spools/Mego (@)
Rated: *****
That lava flow on the cover artwork of the second release by this Brooklyn-based trio of young cosmic couriers, made up of Mark Dwinell, Sophie Lam and George Bennett, didn't make me thought about geophysics, volcanology, hot gullies, after my eardrums got pleasefully stimulated by OFF/ON, their second release which follows the critically acclaimed self-named debut. Although their sound could be easily associated to some eruptions or outcrops from buried electronic music styles, their sound could be associated to another lava-related iconic object, the legendary decorative lamp, produced by Mathmos and developed by Edward-Craven Walker, as its blobs of coloured wax could be considered as one of the most representative emblem of retrofuturism (!), the concrete simulacrum of some relic, which could be linked to a somewhat kitsch and fetish idea of future in the teeth of its belonging to the past, whose symbolic meaning never fades, just like an aged record you enjoyed or a chocolate candy with oxidized surface which still tastes delicious! After such a premise, looking through their equipment - Moog Prodigy, Roland SH-1000, Yamaha CS-15, Korg Lambda, DSI Mopho, Roland TR-707 and TR-606. Oberheim SEM, Akai AX73, Roland RS-09 (the relatively cheapest device to play Jarre's "Oxygene"...) and more - could let you surmise they retraced the glorious pathway of some legendary knights such as the above-mentioned Jean-Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream or Vangelis and by their own admission, they deconstructed the Motorik, a slang term coined by some older colleagues to describe the typical 4/4 ostinato rhythm by many krautrockers such as Neu! or Kraftwerk, but it's clear since the initial "OFF" dynamics behind their majestic cosmic rides, twisted sequences and flowing arpeggiations are not a simple homage to those sonorities, but often show an impressive homogeneity, an attention to detail and computational splashes, which sound like fitted to a refurbished enthusiasm for an upcoming space age, for a primordial return to synth-music source or maybe for a conscious and sage return to innocence!