Camera - Phantom Of Liberty album review

Camera still fahn fahn fahn on the autobahn.

Camera - Phantom Of Liberty album artwork

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For over 10 years, Hamburg’s Bureau B label has been a hotbed of cutting-edge German electronica and returning Krautrock royalty. Based around aptly named tribal human metronome Michael Drummer, Berlin’s Camera are one of the label’s brightest recent signings, having released two albums, 2012’s Radiate and 2014’s Remember I Was Carbon Dioxide. For the third, Drummer may have found the perfect musical foil for his pulsing ritual motorik in film music composer Steffen Kahles, whose eye for lethal synthesiser concoctions can hark back to the heyday of Krautrock legends such as Neu! and Kraftwerk, while deploying his own brand of multi-hued mystery, imagination and dexterity.

Over eight tracks, starting with the electro-cruise of Affenfaust, the pair gleefully blast off on gripping sonic motorways where there may be a surprise around every corner, from the Fripp-like guitar on Festus to the electrostatic of Reindenken/Raus and Moroder-goosing Fröhlichkeit. Cauldron incantations creep into the stomping Tjamahal while the bass-driven Tribal Mango manages a conjuration of early Killing Joke armed with a Mellotron. All told, a modern motorik classic.

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!