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Figur 5

Couch

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Album Review

Based on Figur 5, not much changed in Couch's world since their previous album, Profane, was released five years prior, except their address. Switching from Kitty Yo (and Matador in the U.S.) to Morr Music, the group offers more of the hypnotically pretty, moody post-rock that they began making in the early '90s. Fortunately, though, Figur 5 is a more focused album than the somewhat disappointing Profane was; concentrating on soft-but-crunchy beats, simultaneously sunny and bittersweet melodies, and subtly processed guitars and keyboards, the album shows that Couch still creates some of the loveliest — and warmest — atmospheric music around. Early in the album, "Zwei Strifen im Blan," "Alles Sagt Ja," and "Blinde Zeichen" — which features playfully twangy processed guitars that sound a little bit like a rubber band being plucked — blend together to create a suite-like reverie, while "Gegen Alles Bereit" and "Position: Wieder Eins" use live drums and overdriven guitars for a more immediate rock feel. "Große Verzögerung," meanwhile, has some of the bright, poppy feel that made the band stand out from their aloof-sounding peers, and "Lässt Nicht Nach"'s soaring guitars give Figur 5 a rousing finish. Though it isn't as ambitious as Couch's 1999 album Fantasy, Figur 5 is consistently enjoyable and a welcome return.

Biography

Formed: 1993 in Munich, Germany

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

Munich experimental rock group Couch consists of keyboardist Stefanie Böhm, guitarist Jürgen Söder, bassist Michael Heilrath, and drummer Thomas Geltinger. The group formed in 1993 and found inspiration in classic Krautrock groups as well as more current artists such as Slint and Stereolab. Their untitled 1995 debut was a vinyl-only release. Their 1997 release, Etwas Benutzen, was also their debut for Kitty-Yo, which is also the home of To Rococco Rot, Tarwater, Surrogat, and Laub. Two years later,...
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Figur 5, Couch
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