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Kreidler Review

by Jason Birchmeier

Originating in Düsseldorf, Germany, the first two albums by Kreidler sparked considerable interest in America during the late '90s. Along with other synth-based instrumental songscape groups from Germany such as To Rococo Rot, Mouse on Mars, and Pluramon, Kreidler whet the appetite of American critics and hipsters by taking the sounds of electronic dance music and filtering them through almost pop-like song structures full of melodic hooks, while still staying far from the more obvious pop/rock conventions -- particularly vocals or guitars. With their third full-length album, Kreidler should invoke even more critical praise in the American press thanks to their high-profile relationship with Mute and, primarily, because they create stunning music -- no one can deny this. It's hard to soak up these elaborate, almost film score-like soundscapes in only a listen or two, as the sweeping synth hooks wistfully evoke their emotive magic subtly. Each successive listen seems to unveil unheard secrets. And with two vocal tracks to break up the ambience, this album becomes downright poetic, only furthering the group's claim that electronic music doesn't necessarily have to require dancing. Furthermore, anyone wondering whether the departure of Stefan Schneider has hurt the group has nothing to fear -- the group's work has never sounded this realized.

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