By Jon Milton
Those lovely people at Rocket Recordings have an amazing knack of unearthing talent from across the world. Gnoomes from Russia, Och (and others) from Sweden, Lay Llamas from Italy and so on. Their latest offering is Kooba Cercu of Greece and their new album ‘Proto Tekno’ which might just be one of the albums of the year.
Proto Tekno manages to bring together krautrock, psych, industrial, electronica and more in a soundtrack to an imagined dystopia, which they describe as ‘a potent and pulverising collection of incendiary jams fuelled by the modern age yet transcending it with vicious style’.
The album starts with the thrashy ‘Benzoberry’, a powerful mix of early Dinosaur Jr, Killing Joke and Nirvana submerged in feedback, with the Killing Joke influence continuing in ‘Cemento Mori’ like a present-day ‘War Dance’ having a ruck with the Chemical Brothers.
Filter Feeder provides a change in direction, away from post punk and rock to industrial percussive beats and grinding bass, as a momentary release from the deep immersion, which the powerful dirge Qasan draws you straight back in with its hypnotic tribal drumming and chanting.
The chanting continues with Kamehameha and Fair Game, low slung bass, percussion and noise combining wonderfully. Penultimate track Boiler is harsh and hypnotic with final track Puppy Pile like an awakening from a trance.
I love the way the album ebbs and flows, the inventive drumming driving the music and allowing for the range of sounds to come together. Music really takes centre stage in Proto Tekno with vocals used both cleverly and sparingly throughout. This makes for a proper listening experience, a shamanic journey through sound and space.
Proto Tekno is different, excellent and an album that stands out amongst the crowd. You can listen and buy it here.