Brilliant and satisfying debut from Nottingham trio Attraktors summoning the ghosts of Kraftwerk, Sheffield’s synth heritage and early Depeche Mode. Yeah. That good.
Made up of former members of Julian Cope’s band, Six By Seven, Bivouac, The Selecter and The Nectarine No. 9, we’ve already given some love to Nottingham space/krautrock trio Attraktors on more than one occasion on these pages.
They take little elements of all of those bands in their new self-titled album, with elements of prog; edgy and sometimes dark electronica, post-rock and more all thrown against a Kraftwerk-shaped skeleton. But this is also a quintessentially English whole, with an added warmth and humanity that Florian and Ralph would have filtered. It’s krautrock built not on post-war concrete Berlin, but instead Selectadisc, Rock City, Lace Factories and Meadow Lane.
The closest that they get to the touchpaper of Kraftwerk is the brilliant ‘Maximum Minimum’, in which the vocals talk over this restless, intentionally dour beat. It’s by no means the only highlight on a record that’s creative and looks forward as much as it looks back. Opener “Future Systems” starts like it could have the stamp of Four Tet on it, only to meet up with 70s’ Sheffield Synth-City, and “Math Redux” splatters these psych synth riffs all over the place, driven forward with drum kit, bass and this buzzsaw melody.
Single “Theme from Unknown <Program>” is a twisting but instantly engaging slice of post-synth (yeah, I just made that up; what of it?), complete with drum solo, and this almost dubby saxophone interjections, while search mode sounds like they’ve hijacked Vince Clarke’s studio at the infancy of Depeche Mode, and poured a large quantity of illicit substances over it.
Right up to the end tones of album closer, the tentative ambient stylings of “Interlude for a Wounded Deer” – a track that draws the emotional qualities of electronic music out into the open, it’s a record that encapsulates and enraptures. It’s as interesting as it is satisfying and enjoyable, and that’s a rare old thing these days.
Attraktors self-titled debut album is out now on Vivod Records