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Album Review

Norwegian outfit the Low Frequency in Stereo have issued three previous recordings, all of them on the great indie Rec 90 imprint. While their previous offerings have focused on the lo-fi aspect of their post-rock sound, Futuro, their debut album for Arve Henriksen's Rune Grammophon, is a grand switch in themes and sounds. It's not so much that the band have left their traditional meld of bass-heavy sonic guitar and bass squelch, drone, and doom behind so much as they've expanded their palette to include other textures and instruments for a grand leap forward. New members Linn Frøkedal on organ and vocals and guitarist/organist Njål Clementsen join the founding crew of Per Steinar Lie (bass, voice, organ and guitars), Hanne Andersen (organ percussion, trumpet, guitars), and Ørjan Haaland (drums, percussion, organ, voice), the sound is bigger and more ambitious, and the songwriting far more focused than before. Produced by Jørgen Traeen (Jaga Jazzist, Sondre Lerche), Futuro, with its organ heavy (Farfisas to Wurlitzers to Hammond B-3s) meld of crisp beats, catchy melodics, and tight, almost new wavey guitars feels in some ways like an entirely different unit. Eight cuts, ranging from just over three-and-a-half minutes to over nine offer a 21st century soundclash that references rock from the post-punk and new wave '70s and '80s (Joy Division, the B-52's) through the '90s (Stereolab) with nods toward Can and their countrymen, such as 120 Days. The album is constructed as a flow-together collection of tautly woven individual songs that range in feel, from the herky jerky post-punk pulse of "Georgie La Forge" to the moody, throbbing atmospheric "Mt. Pinatubo," from the careen and six-string guitar crash of "Turnpike" to the spacy, apocalyptic Krautrock-inspired psychedelic freakout "Solar System" that ends the set. Each track is a winner, and each one reflects a different aspect of this remarkable and multidimensional band's widening scope. Futuro is easily the Low Frequency In Stereo's finest moment yet.

Biography

Formed: 2001 in Haugesund, Norway

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Bringing to mind a mix of Joy Division, Can, and the Sugarcubes, lo-fi post-rock group the Low Frequency in Stereo hail from Norway and consist of Per Steinar Lie (bass, vocals), Ørjan Haaland (drums, organ, vocals), Hanne Andersen (trumpet, vocals, guitar), and Njål Clementsen (guitar). Forming in early 2001, the band released the Moonlanding EP that year and a self-titled full-length the following year on REC 90 Records. Travelling Ants Who Got Eaten by Moskus arrived in 2004 before another EP,...
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Futuro, The Low Frequency In Stereo
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