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Three Winters: Chroma

Synth-loving Scandinavians rekindle the dark spirit of early Krautrock.

They may ultimately have proved a greater inspiration to futuristic synthpop acts and techno boffins, but artists such as Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream were considered firmly part of the progressive firmament back in the early 70s.

So this synth-oriented Norwegian trio’s channelling of that same austere, man-machine sonic template will still charm those of us more used to Mellotrons than Moogs. You can tell just from reading the tracklisting that Three Winters’ worldview is somewhat glass-half-empty. Atrocities, Amnesia, At The Centre Of Dystopia – it’s fair to say we’re not expecting a cover of The Sun Has Got His Hat On any time soon. Sure enough, a doomy pall of bass drone hangs heavy over their sound. Yet that can’t disguise a sneaking regard for cute keyboard motifs and intoxicating melodic flourishes. Aeon Surveillance and Lieke employ pretty hooks to shine light through the black clouds. Their sound works best, though, when entrancing you with a slow, metronomic beat, as if Joy Division’s members had been kidnapped and replaced by evil robots armed with retro keyboards and a drum machine. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.