Three Winters: Chroma

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

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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.

Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock