2 Jan 2016

E-Musikgruppe Lux-Ohr - Spiralo [Full length] (2014, Svart Records)

A journey to 70s Germany with a group of Finns as tour-guides
Some claim that the German music style known af Krautrock (and to an extent the various subgenres the Kraut movement spawned) never quite went out of style. Though Tangerine Dream's mastermind Edgar Froese passed away not too long ago, the group was active right until his death. Others like Klaus Schulze (of Ash Ra Tempel) and the band Faust are still going strong, as if they've forgotten about the passage of time. In addition newer groups are crawling forth from various scenes all over the world, inspired in some degree by the landmark German movement.

The Finnish group E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr have since 2010 bestowed upon the world musical minimalism in the form of synthetic melodies with ample headroom. The two previous releases form the band presented gloomy synths in an equally gloomy environment. Spiralo is in that regard not as such a mould breaker, but yet manages to add greater depth and a slightly more melodic tendency to the group's style.

In a musical genre where easily recognisable melodies or catchy choruses usually don't play a prominent role it can be quite difficult for a musician to stand out. Differences will often be minor and subtle. At a cursory glance two albums that are in fact vastly different can sound remarkably alike. This is the same problem the Finns stand before, and Spiralo can as a result easily appear to be an anonymous and forgettable outing which perhaps draws a little much from Klaus Schulze's new-agey tunes.
"The tempo is laborious in the nature of the genre, so it is definitely an album that you have to take your time to listen to..."
But then again it would be a great shame to write off the band's third release as boring background music, because it is so much more if you just let it sink in. The esoteric foundation is built with rolling synths and exhaustive effects that gets your fantasy going, and even if the composition can only scarcely be called innovative the Finns yet succeed in summoning forth an exciting musical landscape focused on simple but effective compositions. The tempo is laborious in the nature of the genre, so it is definitely an album that you have to take your time to listen to, but it is 40 minutes well spent.

The album seems almost tailored for the vinyl medium (and doesn't even come in CD form) and is split into six parts - Teile I-III on side A and Teile IV-VI on side B. The tracks on Spiralo kan be understood as individual compositions, but to a higher degree also as one continuous journey. As such it is in my opinion imperative tat you at least once take the time to listen to the entire album in one uninterrupted sitting.

Bonus fun-fact:
The group includes among others guitarist Kimi Kärki, who in some circles is best known as the guitarist in doom metal groups Reverend Bizarre and Lord Vicar. Kärki also released his first solo album, The Bone of My Bones, as an acoustic singer/songwriter in 2013 through Svart Records, inspired by musicians like Leonard Cohen and Simon & Garfunkel.
8/10 guitars

1. Teile I
2. Teile II
3. Teile II
4. Teile IV
5. Teile V
6. Teile VI

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