At studio album number eleven, the credentials afforded by Kreidler’s longevity speak for themselves. This is a Düsseldorf-based band whose sound is largely unclassifiable - a kind of experimental rock that borrows in equal measures from electronic and acoustic realms, but that always keeps one eye on their Krautrock ancestry - and whose originality has been awarded with an almost twenty year stint making music.
‘Den’ rolls out its seven tracks (it’s fairly brief, at just shy of forty minutes) with a Germanic poise and creativeness that some bands can only hope to attain. The mechanic groove achieved in the alliance between interlocking synth parts and the polygonal drumming of Thomas Klein is what defines this record, and once the fourpiece are locked into their rut, they rarely see any reason to abandon it. It’s a shame, then, that these creations occasionally meander into somewhat monotonous territories - the eight-minute ‘Rote Wüste’ is almost perpetually minimalistic, and album centrepiece ‘Cascade’ developing its robotic regularity at a dawdling pace.
Unfortunate, as the album is bookended by two striking pieces of music.
Opener ‘Sun’ is defined by its hollow bass, and midway through, interrupted by a subtle glitch breakdown that sounds like R2-D2 in convulsions. Meanwhile closer ‘Winter’ is defined by machine-gunfire percussion and harrowing industrial samples. That’s not to say that these tracks aren't, at their core, steadfastly spurning in the face of any discernible structure, it’s simply that there’s enough activity on the surface to hold the listener’s attention. When this happens, Kreidler’s reputation is fully ratified.
Words by SAM CLEEVE