Russian psychedelic group Gnoomes use the term "stargaze" to describe their combination of motorik rhythms, pulsating electronics, and atmospheric guitars. Their second album is titled Tschak!, which is almost certainly a Kraftwerk reference, and it's far more techno-influenced than Ngan!, the band's 2015 debut. That album was a bit more laid-back and spacious, with two songs droning on for 15 minutes each. Gnoomes are more adventurous on their second album, yet it's also more focused than their debut. The music is punchy and urgent, yet never too aggressive, and the vocals are delivered in a calm, cool manner, at times recalling the Stone Roses' Ian Brown or Wire's Colin Newman. While Gnoomes can still go on heavy cosmic excursions, they're usually backed by uptempo electronic beats, creating a very unique blend of Kraut-psych-techno. The album's title track is a highlight, starting with bubbling oscillations fed through a mind-bending array of effects, eventually dropping out and giving way to sequences of scattered, cryptic vocals. "City Monk" comes closer to sounding like Silver Apples, starting with a simple melodic sequence and peppy drumbeat, before fuzzy guitars come in during the second half. The band saves its most affecting song for the end of the album. "B-Day" starts out dreamy and surreal, recalling White Noise's An Electric Storm, before launching into a bittersweet vocal melody and slowly developing trancey synthesizer arpeggios. With Tschak!, Gnoomes have pushed their sound much further than they did on their debut, easily surpassing it, and resulting in their most original work yet.
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AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson