Angst78 - Angst78 [zoharum - 2019]Angst78 is an album/ project that brings together two figures from the Polish underground electronica scene, for a release that offers thirteen slices of retro based electronic music that sits somewhere between ambient techno & laid back IDM. Think a blend of FSOL, The Orb, Boards of Canada, and Plaid, but with an often slight more locked/droned-out & experimental edge- and you’ll get an idea of what to expect over this seventy-nine minute CD release.
The Angst78 project brings Patryk Gêgniewicz aka Revisq of Itoa & solo work, and £ukasz Sza³ankiewicz of Zenial. The album takes in tracks the pair have composed/ mixed/ worked on between the years 2013 & 2019- and as an album built around tracks from different periods & places it flows along fair enough, with a few themes reappearing due to there been a few different mixes of tracks appearing through-out the release- though don’t let that put you off,as each does sound significantly different from each other.
Things start off subtle pared-back yet building manner with “At The Gates”- this just shy of ten-minute track opens with slowly shifting loops of owl calls, water splash & boat wood knock- as times goes on a gentle sweeping siren wave comes into play, as well as a blend of piano key plunk & synth simmering melodies which has a very Plaid feel to it. As the track goes on skeletal beat patterns shift & merge, and later it felt rather like the instrumental tracks Boom Bip did in the early 2000s, with drugged/ muffled voice samples ala BOC ontop- all in all pleasant & engaging enough opener. By track five "Waldenburg" we find looped chopping synth tone coldness been slowly but surely buried by a blend of rushing water field recording & wonky-yet- thick synth ambience. Track seven "Earth Reprise" has an early FSOL meets thick manufacturing vocal-less electro-pop to it- with it sways of tropical bird twitter, slip ’n’ sliding beats & sightly ethno ambient sweeps- all topped with squelching & waving analog synth tones. Track eleven “Forgotten Numbers Station” from its title may sound like it’s going to be a bland BOC rip-off, but in reality its a rather compelling blend of American Indian like jaunting keyboard tones- topped with sweeps & ebbs of purring electro textures, and weird knock & spins. With the album going out in more manic-yet-phased-out vibe with “At the Gates (David Chrapla Remix)” which finds the original tracks owls & synth tones speeded up & joined by an almost hazed out reggae-gone-techno synth vibe ontop.
On the whole Angust 78 nearing 80-minute runtime passes by in a pleasing & at times nicely trancing manner- sure nothing here is very original or unique, but the pair embed enough of there own personal sonic traits & more droned-out/ experimental touches to make this stand out from just another retro focused electronica release. So if you enjoy your old school techno ambient/ laid-back IDM with subtle Avant twists I’d give this a go.Roger Batty