Dream Weapons: Pathways EP

Commenting on the Pathways material Aggelos Baltas (aka Dream Weapons and Fantastikoi Hxoi) submitted to Holger, Steffen Bennemann said that he was “instantly captured by the driving, trippy kraut techno songs, which show homage to the psychedelic sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s while holding their own in the here and now.” That's a pretty on-point description of the “krautrock-gone-techno magic” you can expect to hear on the twenty-six-minute EP (available in twelve-inch and digital formats).

It's also a beautifully sequenced set that conveys more the impression of a mini-album than EP, especially when it includes a one-minute “Intro” as a scene-setter before the big guns come out. Once that synth-heavy soundscape's over, the music locks into kinetic gear with the title cut, an alluring, sequencer-driven krautrock-techno jam that sparkles and pulsates with a utopian fervour that's like the Jekyll to the Hyde of the darkly dystopic intro. If anything, the subsequent track “Infinite” kicks out the jams with even more conviction, especially when its krautrock groove is powered by heavy-hitting drumming and it burns with such exuberant fire.

The B-side's “Moonland” plunges the listener into a trippier electronic realm where an army of gleaming synthesizers incessantly burble in tandem with tribal-inflected techno swing. “The Vampire” resurrects the bruising drum groove from “Infinite” though this time soaks it in Transylvanian oil, with the result eight minutes of howling-at-the-moon krautrock-techno you can really sink your teeth into. To sum up, Bennemann also characterized the material Baltas sent to Holger as “(e)xactly our cup of tea,” and that's pretty much how we feel about it, too.

March 2014