Magnetfisch is an instrumental three-piece from Switzerland consisting of Timothee Barlett (synthesizers, programming), Patrick Scherrer (guitar) and Rolf Althaus (bass). Magnetfisch has been at it since 1998 and recently released Rarotonga, which is a 4-song EP that seamlessly blends electronic components and organic instruments. The EP is a fun ride of sounds that never feel too serious but at the same time never feels silly. I often felt like busting out in a little dance move as some of the music reminded me of Out Hud.
The first song “Propangasmaschinerie” starts with lo-fi sounding fuzzy synths, percussion and bass. It doesn't take long for the song to introduce more elements such as clean guitar doused in reverbs and handclaps. In some ways the music reminded me of Joy Division. The groove rides a dark wave of dance-worthy synths that sounded like distant relatives you heard on Closer.
“ADNDADN” is a percussive heavy song that combines warbly manipulated guitar and white noise. The beat is intricate sounding somewhere between Aphex Twin and Autechre. “Hoppla!” continues to play into dance-worthy dark grooves although the song has a tempo shift about half way through that may make you trip on your feet.
The album closes with “Der kleine Durchbruch,” which was the highlight of the EP. They follow the same formula but the groove is more infectious than ever. The song starts to swell as it progresses and delivers moments of nostalgia and triumph. It was a good way to end as the song delivered an emotional resonance that wasn’t as apparent on the first three songs.
Rarotonga is a rather short ride that left me wanting more. The EP goes by fast and had me yearning for a lengthier artistic statement. With that being said the EP is well crafted and delivers some solid tunes.
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