If Krautrock-meets-electronica outfit Kreidler's 2011 album, Tank, was a modernization of the visceral, propulsive rhythms fellow Germans Neu! created on their classic ‘70s records, then their 2012 follow-up, Den, is more like a contemporary take on early solo projects by the members of Cluster. To put it in less Krautrock-centric terms, the focus of Den seems to more on minimal-but-melodic motifs that reflect off each other like a series of stones dropped in a moonlit pond. As usual with Kreidler, synthesizers lead the way here, but it's not an exclusively electronic landscape.
Germany's Kreidler surprised a few people last year with their superb Tank album, and Den continues in a similar vein, but with less emphasis on drums and more weight on synths. Third track "Rote Wüste" is a standout and following number "Cascade" shifts things a half-decade or so forward, with '80s synth references amidst the prog and kosmische. "Moth Race" blends a sinister, soundtrack-worthy bass line with deceptively simple, bouncy keyboard work, but the biggest surprise is "Winter," with its unsettling sampling of machine-gun fire built into a frenetic beat.
Kreidler have been around since 1994 and released 12 albums in that time. In electronic music that makes them legends. So it’s with some trepidation that I confess to you that I’d never heard of them until Den came across my desk. Like you, I’m a music fan, so new things are always good, right? I could waste both your time and mine going through a snore-inducing history of the band and telling you how this record compares with all of their previous body of work in that span but I have to be honest with you, I wouldn’t want to write that any more than you’d want to read it.