I’ve found myself increasingly intrigued in recent months by Douga, predominantly the output of Manchester’s Johnny Winbolt-Lewis, former member of kraut-psychonauts Plank!.
While not directly competing with his old band for outright volume or opposable riffs, JWL is now beginning to fully demonstrate his unique ability to smash together charming, chiming and occasionally unpredictable jams with clever lo-fi pop twists and understated arrangements.
I can’t help feeling that Kids Of Tomorrow, the opener to upcoming album The Silent Well more than anything represents a door opening and an era beginning. There’s a intriguing number of sides to the Douga shape – some of which are yet to be entirely revealed – and I’ll be punching the air with joy if they’ve been captured on this outing.
With the release of ‘Kösmonaut II’ back in March, the massively prolific Patrick R. Pärk has already produced one of my favourite albums of the year so far. Incredibly, he’s managed to do it again, this time with forthcoming LP Future Machines.
For an artist unashamedly rocking the umlaut, it is of no surprise to find a significant germanic influence at play. Like much of the album, ‘Haus Maschine’ is a consummate wonderland of Berlin-esque heavy arpeggiated analogue polyrhythms, occasionally interrupted by searing saw waves which will happily rip your face off should you so oblige. Whilst wearing the sort of unnerving smile you only otherwise see in British Gas adverts – imagine Tangerine Dream being un-stoppingly propelled into a very bad trip and you’re about halfway there.
It’s gripping stuff, essential listening for souls already assimilated by the sinister ways of dark electronica. And still totally unmissable for everybody else.