This six-track EP from Berlin-based band The Somnambulist is a bit of a paradox, it’s awkward, expressive, energetic and experimental yet also easy to listen to and enjoy. The individual parts of delayed guitar riffs, drums that seem to stick and fall from the basic rhythm and the industrial sounds of 1970’s German music shouldn’t work together, yet does and the result is something totally engaging and exciting.
I’m no follower of German music. I think I consider German music to fall into two categories, those being metal bands or synth dance music (obviously I’m missing out the classical Gods of Brahms, Beethoven, Wagner etc), I know this is a very narrow view of things but it’s rare that I hear of anything other than those genres coming out of Germany, but this is something else.
Yes it feels controlled and efficient but this is a good thing because if one thing goes wrong, the whole project falls flat on it’s face. The vibrating, ‘boing’ guitar effect, paired with the expressive jazz-like drums on ‘All Strain is Over’ has to gel perfectly for it to be successful, the same goes for the dark mood mixed with Bowie-esque vocals of ‘Not A Song For You’ which is lead by a brilliant guitar riff.
‘The Freewheelers’ has a hint of Gary Numan’s ‘Are Friends Electric’ but isn’t that music a nod to the great Kraftwerk and the sounds they were producing from early synthesisers?
All in all this is a tight EP with some interesting music on, it’s part indie band, part shoe-gaze, part synth pop band and it feels fresh and serious. The next EP should be coming out soon as a planned LP was split into two parts, this being the first, and on this showing, it’ll be well worth the wait.