Raderkraft :: Keine Richtung (Testlab)

Stinissen mentions his love of pre-MIDI sounds and Raderkraft certainly has an uncluttered style. The coldness of electro is ever present, but there is also a freewheeling quality to the EP.

Testlab recently opened its doors, welcoming guests with a tape of demos and live tracks from a hometown institution. In the 1980s De Koer was a haunt for wave artists, industrial interlopers and synth stalkers. And after that walk down memory lane the fledgling label is ready for a contemporary take.

Raderkraft, a project by Willem Stinissen, caught the ear of Eddy de Clercq, a pioneer of the Netherlands wave scene and boss of Testlab. And on listening to Keine Richtung you can hear why.

Cold, yet surprisingly playful, “Das Leben” is a synth track that seems to smile at the serious situation it finds itself in. Vocals sternly scold plodding melodies in a strangely parental manner. Racing on rapid fire rhythms is the speeding joy of “Wir Sind Zufrieden.” Notes are stark but that tongue in cheek element is again present, that touch of the early experimenters coming to the fore. “Der Rundgang” follows the same sprinting percussion. Arpeggios rumble through rain soaked streets, neon flashing in snare rolls and cascading chords. “Keine Richtung” taps into Club Lederhosen’s post-punk past. Brash and bold bars are hammered by beats. Vocals are scorched by distortion and static. The track is fast, sweat stained and fiery and dripping in angst.

Stinissen mentions his love of pre-MIDI sounds and Raderkraft certainly has an uncluttered style. The coldness of electro is ever present, but there is also a freewheeling quality to the EP. With respectful nods to past fixed forms, this stripped down outing has that individual streak that makes it stand out from the angular crowd.

Keine Richtung is available on Testlab.

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