Föllakzoid

I

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Chilean Krautrock enthusiasts Föllakzoid collaborated with Atom™ (impossibly prolific electronic musician Uwe Schmidt, a German-born resident of Santiago) on 2015's III, adding more of a techno influence to the band's hypnotic guitar-based psychedelia, additionally claiming inspiration from traditional Andean music. The group's fourth album is titled I, and it appropriately strips down their sound even further than before. Instead of taking time to develop songs and then recording them in the studio in single takes, on this occasion the members of Föllakzoid individually recorded dozens of isolated stems of their instruments and handed them off to Schmidt, who reconstructed them however he wished. The results have far more in common with minimal techno than psychedelic rock, with throbbing rhythms at the center and a constant, ever-shifting array of trippy effects surrounding them. There isn't much in the way of melody here, and there aren't any lyrics either, although there are moments where weird, garbled voices emerge. Precision seems to be a priority here, as all four tracks are numerically titled, with the odd-numbered ones both clocking in at exactly 17 minutes each, and the evens both 13 minutes. The shorter tracks happen to be the ones that have stronger beats, with an insistent boom-tick moving your body, and the swiftly mutating effects altering your mind. It's not at all improbable to imagine minimal techno guru Ricardo Villalobos (who also happens to be Chilean-German) dropping these tracks in a DJ set, perhaps mixing them with something like his own marathon-length "Fizheuer Zieheuer." "III" is the least rhythmic piece, with Schmidt arranging the guitars into slowly vibrating drones for several minutes before he's finally ready to start the kick drum. "IIII" gets a little heavier on synth effects and sequences, and the eerie cyborg voices are a bit louder and sharper. Other than these types of structural differences, the whole album is essentially variations on the same idea, and while it might test the patience of some of the group's listeners, those willing to simply lie back and get caught up in the flow will find it more than worthwhile.

Track Listing - Disc 1

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Track Listing - Disc 2

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