Drokk : Music Inspired By Mega-City One
Listening to Drokk one can imagine how in the '80s Kraftwerk eventually became, for all intents and purposes, a stadium act. Drokk: they being Geoff Barrow (Portishead, Beak, Quakers..) and Ben Salisbury, re-energise the retro electronic sound of early '80s icons like Giorgio Moroder, Harold Faltermeyer and Jean Michel Jarre and suggest at least that the acclaim which met the forefathers of primitive electronica and pop and it's progressive faces was justified. It’s coy yet theatrical in tone, a little like modernism set to music.
That said, there are two rather distinct aspects to the tunes here; cinematic, hyper-electro pop, and less stylised, more motorik/minimalist Kraut-inspired pieces harking directly back to Barrow's recent project BEAK>. It is the latter which free up this record, removing it from homage to something which is highly listenable. Tracks like Exhale and Dome Horizon, filled with texture and scale offset the 'template sound' of Helmet Theme and much of the rest of this record, with its stylistic, Blade Runner-inspired synths and drum machines.
There's additional joy when Drokk re-hash BEAK> on Inhale; its Krauty rhythm colliding with an explosion of sound design before segueing back into the science fiction vibe for a few more installments.
The final piece reprises Helmet Theme, the iconic sound that perhaps defines the Drokk sound, and one that completes the Drokk experience.
BY STEVE PHILLIPS
Best Track: Inhale
If You Like These, You'll Like This: BEAK>, KRAFTWERK
In A Word: Neo-futuristic