|Album Review: Achterbahn D'Amour – Odd Movements|
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In the mid-80s, the Roland TB-303 flopped in the US market, only to be discounted and dug up by a new sector of Chicago’s poor – the infamous producers who eventually gave way to acid house. Raw, dirty, and pounding, the 303’s signature squelch is an eternal tribute to that era’s experimentation, which Berlin based Achterbahn D’Amour continues to explore in their full-length debut, Odd Movements.
After two releases on Absurd Recordings’ Acid Test sub label – which also bodes Tin Man, Recondite, and Donato Dozzy – duo Johannes Paluka (Iron Curtis) and Jurgen “Jool” Albert (Edit Piafra) have tangled together a 9-track mindbender that is both caustic and atmospheric. Dark and desperate, it still devises space to wander, each track amorphously evolving into an enclosure with a lock on the door.
Spastic 303 acid lines itch their way in and out of Odd Movements, but Achterbahn D’Amour thrives on its textural transformations. On “Passagen,” a fragile dolefulness is met face on by a coal burning bassline before shattering into a full out jack. “Jaws of J.O.Y” follows with an even more contorted journey; careening through schizophrenic chirps and viscid acid lines, its ominous spirit and rolling morph is swallowing. The title track, “Odd Movements,” is similarly submersing as its jagged stabs echo emptily into ambience.
Though certainly a cerebral experiment, Odd Movements does not overlook the dance floor – likely the unlit, very loud kind where dancers pulse alone with closed eyes. “My Demands” is a breakneck beater of saws, snare smacks, and anarchistic vocal bits that could rip walls off the room. Similarly, “Königstr” throws down a clubbier space-case fire, riding along a punchy bassline that gusts groove.
Ending with another ambient immersion, “Cram & Treacle” invites us into an expanse after having confronted space and texture within the cemented confines of the mind. Within Odd Movements' 47 minute stretch, Achterbahn D’Amour manages to cover a vast expanse of desperation, demand, and darkness, all the while ending with the search for light. Left to reflect, the 303’s squelch seizes like a sob, bidding us adieu to the world outside this modern acid journey.