The Chilean branch of the Lollapalooza festival franchise takes place in the splendidly named Parque O’Higgins. Which has nothing to do with the subject at hand, beyond local band Föllakzoid featuring in last year’s line up (we’ll skip the history lesson for now; fans of Bernardo O’Higgins – and early nineteenth-century South American independence movements in general – can populate the comments section).
How good is II, the new Föllakzoid album, which last month hit whatever has replaced the concept of the record store? Answer: I’m not sure. I’m still rolling it around in my mind. Sizing it up, you could say; true to the spirit of deliberately not reviewing records until each dimension and every dynamic has been well and truly calibrated. Music press types – or whatever rotted husk remains of the music press – take note; it’s a stance you can learn from. All the cool kids are doing it. I look forward to perusing your new release anti-reviews at my leisure.
I’ve heard this album described in certain quarters as Krautronica – at which point I stifled a yawn, or maybe a giggle, such is our collective, oh-so-modern connivance with musical buzzwords. Such frisky nomenclature we have now; I’m not sure I can keep up. I could, given time, probably dissect this portmanteau down to its component parts, but I’m not sure it’s the answer I’d provide the next time some vague acquaintance asks “… and what sort of thing do you listen to?”.
Variants upon the what music do you like? question – all too often small-talk masquerading as genuine interest – are not something I look forward to. “Einstürzende Neubauten” usually solicits a vacant stare for a response, and I imagine “Krautronica” would do the same. In fact I usually reply with something along the lines of “Sister Sledge” at moments such as these. It saves having to go into such profound and deeply personal detail. Saves having to define that instinctive something, how a hook or a riff snares the listener as if it’s a medieval torture device left in a children’s play park. The guitar parts double-tracked, triple-tracked; a gravelly sound, yet simultaneously syrupy, caustic, stark, sly, and so, so immediate that even comparisons to adrenalin don’t work – not really.
Seriously – how can you articulate such intense, head-rushy traits to the uninitiated? In a world in which anti-music swills about like the results of a blocked drain (can someone please go and drown Mumford and Sons in the canal?), these are essential reference points that all-too rarely translate into cultural currency. I worship beneath sonic architecture I long to cry (“I quite like that Cyndi Lauper track” I’m probably mumbling instead, desperate for the conversation to end).
Meanwhile, there’s a new Föllakzoid record out. Have you heard? File under spacey, understated nuevo psychedelia. Or don’t – that’s a description that almost makes sense; let’s invent some new terminology, instead.
Föllakzoid / 99