The Upshot: Erstwhile Kraftwerk member gives his musical output from 2002-15 the overview treatment, demonstrating an intelligence and sly wit that remains with you long after the album has ended. Below, listen to a track from the album.
BY JONATHAN LEVITT
The latest Wolfgang Flür compilation courtesy of England’s Cherry Records is a doozy and makes the latest record by New Order seem like child’s play. Now that I have that out of the way, the music on the disc “cherry picks” (no pun intended) from Flür’s musical output spanning 2002 until present day. Flür’s music here pulsates with an energy that gives heavy nods to the electro-stylings of his former band, Kraftwerk. No “Boing Boom Tchack” here but the vibe is decidedly clubbish on opener “I Was a Robot” and is far more convincing than musicians half his age, who somehow think they own the dance floor.
“Cover Girl” has that sexy, secretive, late-night cruising around the metropolis feel to it. Whether it be Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories or Tame Impala’s brilliant curveball from the summer entitled Currents, I love that electronic music, and some of its dancier exponents seem to be experiencing a creative renaissance.
The track “Staying in the Shadow” is a bizarre tune that is completely infectious with its spare beat and guttural emanations. It has a touch of Roland Van Campenhout about it. This tune takes the sort of interesting risks that pay off and play as a sonic film of sorts.
“Moda Makina” has an isolationist vibe about it. Flür weaves with great aplomb a sarcastic tale criticizing the vain pursuit of fashion and beauty at all expenses.
“Axis of Envy” is one freaky tune with the synthesizers cranked to 11 and a narrative undertow that pulls you into its vicious rip current. The deceptive piano flourish at the beginning, followed by a psychotic laugh and lyrics that feel dipped in a devilish end-of-the-world shellac, ultimately straitjacketing the listener until things finally fade into the ether.
This release is a great springboard for a more exhaustive, in-depth listen to Flür’s musical output. The creativity flowing through these 18 tracks is a pleasure to listen to and shows an intelligence and sly wit that remains with you long after the album has ended.
DOWNLOAD: “Axis of Envy” “Cover Girl” “Staying in the Shadow”
Ed. note: the album also is released in the U.S. via Cleopatra on Oct. 30, with different artwork (below) and an additional bonus track, “Beat Perfecto (Sigh Society Mix)”