Monday, 19 August 2013

PolarTape - Hiwegg EP

EP review by

German-style electronica and krautrock carefully crafted on French soil. Quite what nationality PolarTape actually are we don't know, but they formed last year and 'Hiwegg' is their second EP, and it's a feast for fans of vintage electro sounds and improvisation that originated in the Eastern Bloc in the late 1960s. The EP isn't really a flashback, as the songs sound very much like modern compositions, so calling them retro wouldn't quite fit. However, the choice of instruments (or maybe computer programs used to generate the sound of instruments) does switch your mind back to those analogue sounds.

The best track for summing this up is 'Piece Of Work' which takes what sound like antiquated synths and use them to create the melody that drifts over the top of sharper electronic beats that have a much more current feel, perhaps like Aphex Twin or Squarepusher. As is common with music of this variety, the spectre of Kraftwerk looms large over songs like 'Raising #3', although they've twisted the song to give it a less easy feel, and 'Shifted' is made less easy still by experimenting a touch more, but it remains accessible enough. They maintain this less orthodox sound for 'Gong Platz' before bowing out with the more futuristic and atmospheric 'Bloomy Days'. With so many recreating the sounds of electronic music's past, it's nice to find a band who are splicing this music with more up to date techniques.

PolarTape's website

Stream or buy the EP

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