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10/12/2016 : CAMERA - Phantom Of Liberty

CAMERA

Phantom Of Liberty

MusicCD
Krautrock

[80/100]   

Bureau B
10/12/2016, Paul PLEDGER

On this their third album, Berliners Camera set out their stall and statement of intent straight from the off with the relentless Affenfaust. Literally meaning Monkey Fist, it could also be a homage to Hamburg's contemporary art gallery.

This is (ahem) power-kraut in its finest form - remember Portishead's superb The Rip from their third full-length outing? This track and the following Fröhlichkeit exude all the qualities of the likes of Can and Neu, without paying any amount of fawning homage yet keeping the spirit of their peers well and truly alive.

Phantom of Liberty isn't all about progressive rock however - it's a fascinating travelogue that encompasses influences from across Europe. An element of the Med creeps into the hypnotic Festus while Reindenken/Raus has hallmarks of Scandinavian jazz coursing through its veins - ECM anyone?

Typically though, Ildefons and Tjamahal certainly have the Can influence in tow and Nevernine takes the whole ethos of Germanic rock n roll that bit further with its propulsive beats and riffs. Closer Tribal Mango fuses found-sounds and a Joy Division-esque riff to produce the album's most eerie outtake.

Considering Bureau B's usual quality control, I'm not a fan of the album's sleeve in the slightest - but the music represents some of the label's finest moments yet.

This review also appeared on Flipside Reviews

Paul PLEDGER
10/12/2016


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