Chile’s Föllakzoid explore cerebral primitivism with III
Sacred Bones make it easy for us.
Traversing everywhere from Stockholm to Santiago to champion the very best in alternative and experimental music, the cult-status label has made a tradition of bringing artists in from the edges of the blogosphere and in toward the epicentre of mainstream success. Curating incredible, little-known performers from relative obscurity into a more accessible Brooklyn-based catalogue, searching the Sacred Bones register for a disappointing release is about as futile as it gets. That obscurity, that quality, that little snake circling the triangle, it represents more than just a music label. It’s essentially a public service.
In the past they’ve helped introduce us to the likes of Moon Duo and The Men, while last year’s Pharmakon, Amen Dunes and Zola Jesus statements showed the label is as capable and discerning as ever. The new release from Chilean krautrockers Föllakzoid is next off the fruitful production line, providing another microcosm of trademark Sacred Bones ingenuity. Full-length Föllakzoid releases started back in 2009 with a self-titled debut (I), followed by II, and now, III: three simplistic strokes representing new artistic developments and four multifaceted, composite songs.
III sees enveloping primitivism, noise and exploration coalesce into a sound that can only be described as captivating. Motorik rhythms are replaced by firm kick/hi-hat breakbeats, as combinations of repetitive minimalism, washes of psychedelia and hairline shifts in intensity rise to the forefront of a remarkable sonance. It’s concurrently simple and intricate, familiar and alien, treading the depths and semblances of the scarcely-charted prog/techno dynamic.
Isolated, tracks appear ambiguous. But played through uninterrupted the reward is an absorbing musical trip to 1970s West Germany via the barren lysergia of the South American desert. Opener “Electric” places you in a dark, kaleidoscopic room, confronted by intermittent waves of spectacular light and sound – a feeling persistent all through to “Feuerzeug”. Rhythms throb and pulse, leaving deep cerebral imprints that remain for days. Fuzzy, phaser-laden eruptions of euphoria leap forth, culminating in mind-melting crescendos. Aural peaks and troughs build and descend like the desolate Chilean landscape, over and over again. Today there are experimental noises kraut and techno trailblazers could only have imagined in their most lucid, adulterated dreams, and III leaves few of them idle.
In their quest to provide a contemporary alternative to old Neu! and Can favourites, Föllakzoid continue to evolve and throw that little bit of desert spice into their melting pot of inspiration. Without a label like Sacred Bones, such fantastic, niche artists and intriguing, compelling albums would remain largely unheard. And so, on behalf of all alternative and exploratory music nerds out there, Föllakzoid and Sacred Bones, we nod our monomaniac heads in your direction. We look forward to continuing this long and prosperous relationship.