The Low Frequency In Stereo – Pop Obskura (Long Branch Records)

The Low Frequency In Stereo – Pop Obskura (Long Branch Records)

This product should have a government health warning slapped all over it. In a world where it has become progressively outlawed not only does it regularly extol the virtues of cigarette smoking, but it also induces in the listener a series of involuntarily spasms. Play this record and your head begins to slowly nod and then your toe starts to tap as you quickly succumb to that low frequency, hi-fidelity beat.

Arriving at the launch pad of their fifth studio album, Norway’s The Low Frequency In Stereo are now about to take off. After years of flirting with the paramours of psychedelia, post-punk and retro space-rock these five Scandinavians have reached a point at which they are ready to shed the skin of their influences and stretch out into the firmament all on their very own.

On ‘Elevated Desecrated’ they build upon a solid foundation of Farfisa organ and B-52 voices by adding an extra dimension to what once might have been called dream pop. The incessancy of ‘Colette (Subie Subie)’ fills in the gaps that were left between the end of surf music and the birth of garage rock, whilst ‘Curly Hair’ reincarnates latter-day Cocteau Twins for the here and now.  ‘Cybernautic’ may dance a jitterbug across a futuristic discothèque floor but ‘Black Receiver’ takes a much more frenzied approach to the modern dance, bringing spiralling guitar and hip-hop even further to the boil.

‘Satellites In Sight’ has the outline of Neu!’s ‘Hallogallo’ firmly in its cross-hairs but still sounds fresh and alive as Hanne Andersen’s muted trumpet adds a vivid splash of colour to the song’s coda. Like the soundtrack to some existential road movie, ‘Ionic Nerve Grip’ flushes out the past in a swirl of claustrophobic dub and echoed spoken word before drifting into the equally hypnotic neo-psychedelic instrumentation of ‘White Echo’. And ‘Secondhand Nation’ is pure evolutionary pop music, a curious blend of the innocence of sub-French chanson with a far greater, much grittier contemporary sensibility.

Pop Obskura is a mature, reflective work that demands repeated listens. It announces The Low Frequency In Stereo’s arrival at a staging post in time where they are able to re-evaluate the relative merits of their musical past and use this as a true springboard for their very own sound for both this day and tomorrow.

Pop Obskura will be available through Long Branch Records as a CD Digipak, coloured LP (180g incl. CD) and Download on 7th October (in Europe) and 5th November (in North America)

Rating: ★★★★☆

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.