Label: Sonic Groove
Release date: September 9, 2019
By: Johan Carlsson
Rhys Fulber strikes while the iron is hot, and releases a second solo album in just over a year. This time he’s venturing even more into hard, industrial techno. It’s less EBM and more IDM. Melodies are hard to come by, and a claustrophobic feeling surrounds me when I listen to it. Long, monotone, intensely rhythmic tracks that works both in your headphones and on the dance floor. I wasn’t able to see him in concert on his tour recently, but I’ve heard that the songs sounded great live.
The title ”Ostalgia” means the ”nostalgia for aspects of life in Communist East Germany” and is a reference to Rhys’ German roots, even though he’s raised in Vancouver and now lives in LA. The sound of the album is bleak and cold, much like the past in East Germany I suspect.
As always, Rhys creates a very complex sonic palette with a myriad of small details, samples, noises, drum patterns, bass lines – all together weaving interesting, evolving compositions that keep your attention all the way.
”Misery Whip” and ”Fountain of National Radio” let the atmospheric elements out to play a little bit, with beautiful strings on the latter that really elevates it into a classic Fulber track. This is truly an album that rewards repeated listens when all the intricate stuff appears, and the monotone turns into bliss. A cold record that is warmly recommended.