Tonen: Long-Term-Stasis-Music

Sublime Krautrock, straight outta Portland...

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Maybe there’s an unknown, psychic link connecting the hipster- friendly environs of Portland, Oregon to the kosmische breeding grounds of early 70s Berlin: West Coast trio Tönen clearly have a direct line to the sparse, space-age likes of Tangerine Dream and Cluster in particular.

Every superficial aspect of Long-Term-Stasis-Music – from the hyphenated, self-descriptive title (mimicking the compound nature of the German language), to the Euro- minimalist cover design – has purged any trace of their US roots, and musically the band go even further. Their third album is a further refinement of Krautrock’s extra-terrestrial explorations, stripping away the sense of dread that often found its way into Cluster’s early work as the five, destination-free excursions herein go about their prime objective of simply maintaining their own torpid equilibrium. Analogue pulses and oscillations are languidly relayed along the length of the opening title track. From the caressing Atmospheric Interference to Dream Induction’s soothing ebb and flow, this is simply sublime – a seduction into a perpetually refreshed state of stupefied wonder.

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.