La Grande Bellezzais marks the return of music enthusiasts Alexander Djelassi and Dirk Raupach of the neo-krautrock project 'Sounds Of New Soma'. The duo are known for their intensified oscillations between electroexperimental soundscapes and blistering space rock.
Opening with 'Bundesgartenschau' the album starts its ascent into space with atmospheric and beautifully orchestrated swirls of synths over tempo setting bass and rhythmic drum patterns. 'Der Gruene Pilz' is a peculiar blend of echoey German spoken word, chimes and almost random drum bursts; whilst baffling to me, it still manages to fit within the constructs and flow of album, as it leads in to the fantastic 'Einheit des Lichtes': fans of 70s German synth and electronic soundtracks of John Carpenter will find much to love within the tracks ten minute length. 'Garten des Lichtes' follows that same same Carpenteresque theme of squelchy synth and scoff horror tone as it begins, but then leads way to a more weightless electronic ambience, and again, is cinematic in tone.
Elsewhere, on the record is 'Spandau' a more jazz inflected psych-funk piece, led by saxophone and infectious drum trickery. Stand out track 'Wurmloch' offers up a magnificent slice of kosmische rock. 'Wahn' is a repetitive pattern that drives the track over unpredictable burst of synth noise and cymbals, with occasional, fuzzed up electronica working in stark contrast to the more luminous pieces that have gone before. The record ends with 'Duftnote' a more gentle track that acts as a musical descent and return to calm, as its floats delicately to its final fading notes.
La Grande Bellezza is a beautiful and at times, arresting journey. Whilst it occasionally sounds familiar in its more cinematic moments, it also does incredible and unpredictable things. For their third release, Sounds of New Soma have exceeded expectations by crafting an engaging record of cosmic wonder, and also strengthen the already strong reputation of label Tonzonen Records; this an album I'll be playing for the months to come, whilst awaiting the fourth trip.
Sounds of New Soma Bandcamp
Sounds of New Soma Facebook