Review Summary: Late night minimal oblivion.
Föllakzoid have made a significant transition from their original acid infused krautrock to the minimal techno project you could hear lately. The original mindset is still there, the main goal being to create a mesmerizing, droning sound that could play forever in your head. It’s all about a groove to lose yourself into, whether stemming from the likes of Neu! or Can, as well as late night club mixes and even Muslimgauze type jamming. 2019’s I
made a full move towards the electronic style, stripping away layers, so there was no turning back to rock. The latest record, V
continues with the same approach, recording all sorts of sound scapes, guitars, bass and beats, in order to be cut and rearranged together with producer AtomTM. Sequencing them into four movements created another long form epic that’s meant to seamlessly flow into oblivion. The pulsing rhythm is a staple throughout their catalog (see III
’s “Electric” or II
's "Rio", for example) and the guitar notes run along with it most of the time. Also, the synth bass augments with deep notes, especially during the first tune. Coincidentally, it is the most melodic and straightforward overall.
From there, the shape shifting ensues. “V-II” toys with the percussive elements and blends the guitar string squeaks into the beat. Towards the end several vocal samples appear, seguing into the third cut, perhaps the most minimal sounding of all four. The gradual progressions are attentively mixed, each instrument coming to the forefront or fading out at any moment. On “V-III”, most of them are muted except for a round of jerky notes over the main beat and bass bursts. There is no defined pattern, they just went by feel when combining them. The final segment keeps the club vibe going through more delayed beats and vocal bits. The initial sonic motifs make a slight return, but they are soon drowned in endless percussion waves. Deconstruction is the preferred process, stripping parts with each track. While I enjoy Föllakzoid’s mindset and am eager to hear each new LP, they are headed down a rabbit hole with their music. Occasionally, it becomes exhausting, making it hard to finish listening V
in one go. Nevertheless, when it clicks, it definitely sparks joy.