So one of your favorite post-rock bands is, of course, Mars Volta, right? And you have an album from krautrock influenced Can on your ipod because you’re holding on to some memory of your travels through Mexico and all those weird-art friends you made last year? Kraftwerk has always been on your radar, but you’re not really sure if you’d know any of their songs if you heard them, even though your friend from/in Brazil just told you they were playing Sonar’s satellite intelligent, performance-noise festival down there this month.
If you’re anything like me, and you’re just getting into the history of the krautrock canon, finding bands that fall under the post rock-electronica rubric quite fascinating, then I’d say Berlin-based Frederik Knop’s solo project, pOnk is as best a start as any. Playing off of his work with mOck, the renown multi-instrumentalist, pOnk uses Knop’s prowess as a Ph.D. doing, musicologist-musician, to combine found sound extrapolations, recorded instrumentation and discerning electronics on his MushRecords debut, Remaking the Past. Utilizing Knop’s abilities as sound-designer, producer and composer to the utmost potential, Remaking the Past, precisely meanders past the clichés of unconventionality and conceptualism, while simultaneously positing a very jazz influenced array or controlled-jam torpor.
Remaking the Past reworks recordings of mOnk’s work with John McEntire, more notably of the Sea and the Cake, who mixed the original trio’s 2012 self-titled debut (free download) on I Love to Hate Records. The release reminds me of Deep Politics by Grails, for its moody, corporal and intense tonality. Coil’s Stevo, Pay Us What You Owe Us and Avey Tare’s Down There might be in the range of this solo debut (minus the vocals on both). However, more aptly, I’m partial to mention my Remezcla review of the Peruvian krautrock art-rock scenesters, Serpentina Satélite for the cross-referential modernization of the genre and the vitalization of post-rock at large. These two bands, might be a perfect pairing at an intimate house party in Mexico City some day. The sincerity and the simplicity of Remaking the Past works well against the riley contrivances of the everyday musical reviewing barrage.
All you folk and fam with sophisticated palettes will appreciate this sound-collage examination, as Knop compiles and probes at alchemic properties of easy listening, light, yet profound aural selection. Like test-tube babies playing acoustic, Remaking the Past, puts electro-orchestral in a beaker and lets the compounds dissolve.