Sounds of New Soma - Musique Bizarre

20 May 2022 - Thorsten

Krautrock, Electronica, Psychedelic Noise | Tonzonen | Release date: 20 May 2022 | Favorite song: Berlin Marrakesch

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It is always a mesmerizing fact how influential German music was in the 1970s – as if it had been as much of an epicenter for good music as for example England or the States: German Krautrock which then divided itself into a more electronica-oriented side (think of Kraftwerk or the late Klaus Schulze) and a more psychedelic-oriented one (remember Amon Düül II or Can). Sounds of New Soma from Western Germany combine both sides in their latest enchanting and transcending release Musique Bizarre, which is not bizarre at all, but highly entertaining!

The two masterminds behind Sounds of New Soma, Alex Djelassi and Dirk Raupach, have now released their seventh full-length studio record (not counting two live records) and all of these in the short span of nine years since the band’s inception. Their music is somewhat similar to the krauty space jams that Øresund Space Collective has in store for us and Sounds of New Soma’s approach to this record is also somewhat similar as they gathered guest musicians from the Tonzonen roster for nearly each track. That in itself is no surprise as Dirk is the owner of the Tonzonen label, which you might have already seen recently here on VoS as Noorvik published their picture perfect Hamartia via Tonzonen.

That shows that Dirk surely has a very delectable taste when choosing his artists – and he did just that here on Musique Bizarre. Every track seems to flow effortlessly from start to end and even reverb a little bit over into the next one, no matter how long or spacey itself is or different and how complex the next one is. Listen to the way that ”Dadengi” seems to breathe life into ”Berlin Marrakesch<”, which is also the best track on the album. It combines Collapse Under The Empire-like electronics with very discreet beats, minimal synth passages and then some really intriguing guitar parts in the second half of this 10-minute opus when you really feel as if the plane has brought you straight from Berlin’s pulsating, somewhat hectic city to the also bustling but sound wise much more Arabic Marrakesh with lots of Arabic instruments over a desert-like drone in the background. One should say that there has not been a more fitting sound description for instrumental music in the form of a track title – what you read is what you hear!

Dirk and Alex surely have learned a lot from the aforementioned German bands (including CUTE) but the best thing about Sounds of New Soma is the independence and sheer chutzpah with which they emulate and renew those soundscapes. Yes, there are some guitar elements which resemble Can or some very Schulze-like electronic parts, but every track has that certain twist that makes it unique – take for example the perfectly embedded trumpet (or is it a horn?) on ”Waidmann”. That instrument surely makes the track stand out.

A record for all those who like to float on the waves into a realm unknown and far away. Turn on, tune in and drop out without the need for any drugs – this music is more than enough for that. The godfathers are surely proud and one should hope that this part of the German scene is as strong as these forerunners so that maybe in a far way universe music from this corner of the world becomes relevant again, because it has more to offer than Scooter or the Scorpions. Much more. It has Sounds of New Soma!