Ten years into their career, there have been changes in this band.
During the creation of their sixth album, Martin Fischer left after contributing his keyboards. The quintet became a quartet, and they continue in the same post-rock, progressive vein. Much like Mogwai, these Germans have a nuanced understanding of dynamics, which sets them apart from the vast bulk of modern rock outfits who play either loud or quiet, with no shading between the two. This is a group that can swell with the range of an orchestra in terms of tone, texture and volume – all readily apparent in the wonderful surges and stabbing strings of Plans, the shamelessly expansive 12-minute album closer Flux and the coda of Rewind, a song with a hint of Katatonia’s darkness, but without the all-consuming gloom. Getaway sounds like a crunchier Pink Floyd, and while the bulk of the material is instrumental, guest vocalist Petter Carlsen sounds so at home that it feels like he’s always been there. TRIPS is beautifully produced too – you can hear the details even in the industrial stomp of Trauma. How Long Distance Calling progress from here remains to be seen, but they couldn’t have asked for a better start.