Electric Orange - Misophonia. 2016 Germany

Misophonia is Electric Orange's 11th proper studio album. They were one of the first Krautrock revivalists from the Fatherland, and have more or less stayed on script throughout their 25+ years career. I started with the band at the beginning, and have dutifully picked up all their albums to date. And the all instrumental Misophonia definitely has the right sounds, with rumbling drums, and grungy Hammond organ to the fore. So it comes as a surprise to me that I really don't enjoy this album very much. It's certainly good enough, but for Electric Orange, it's a sub par effort. I picked up the CD upon release, and heard it last year for the first time - and have stuck with it now for over a year. But the needle isn't moving.

So what gives? Well... I've struggled to put my finger on it, but for one thing there is no songwriting. Now with Krautrock that certainly isn't de rigueur, but most at least intersperse a few melodies among the chaos. Electric Orange did not do that either. But if there aren't any songs, then one would look for a climatic payoff of some sort - a build up to an intense jam for example. Nope, not here. Then there's the lack of tonal diversity. A flute, saxophone, or more electric guitar would have helped immensely. The latter is there primarily to set the tone, but doesn't play a major role in the album. In effect, Misophonia is one of those albums that has all the right ingredients, but doesn't taste right. To be honest, it's a bit dull. If I were to characterize the album - it would be something of a new genre - Ambient Krautrock. Not electronic in the slightest - definitely a rock based album. But it's very static. I do think that's what the band was striving for. To create the mood of the original early 70s Krautrock movement. To that end, they succeeded then. But that's all they did. Overall, I expected more.

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