2016 Dec 14     
2 Bit Thugs

If fractured rhythms and eerie synthscapes are your bag, there's plenty to enjoy on this album

Stefan Streck, AKA The Micronaut, is a Leipzig-based German multi-instrumentalist and producer, and is back with his third and most powerful release to date.

Forms comes on one of Germany’s leading independent electronic labels, Acker Records, and when asked about his inspiration for the album Streck says, "Forms or shapes can be seen everywhere." So how does this transcribe itself into a musical representation? Very well, is the answer, with this fine piece of electronica which features an intro track called Rhombus and 11 other warming, thoughtful musical movements.

Triangel is the first track after the intro, and sets you up nicely with its breakbeat rhythms and ethereal female vocals. Some adept synth wizardry is at the forefront, along with organs and and arpeggiated chord progressions. This is followed by Pyramid, which features vocals by Audia and is a slower jam with crunching sounds and an interesting topline which all sits well in its surroundings, as do all of the sounds on the album. This resonates with the description of his music  as being “a melting pot of sounds. The album continues in this way, with the artists using a varied palette of instrumentation to colour his tracks in various hues and rhythms. Streck says: "When it comes to composing music I never think in genres. Instead I try to create music that I think touches people on different levels, and I am my own biggest critic. I produce not always a track. I collect ideas."

This is instantly recognisable in his music, and is done with great panache. There are tracks like Trapez, which sounds almost Oriental in its nature, with I Am Halo’s male spoken vocal used as another texture to this many layered production, and Oval, with its D&B-like rhythmic qualities. Although they sound completely different, you can sense the link between them and that link is Streck’s deft studio skills. It may be happenstance but I suspect that it is the musician's skill that gives the release a great flow from track to track. It is a recording that for me works best when listened to from start to finish.

As for picking favourite tracks, I don’t really have any -  it really does work as a whole album, so I just prefer it as a soundtrack to our modern times.

Words: Danny Slade

Release date: 9 December


Review Score: 8




Tags: The Micronaut, Stefan Schreck, I Am Halo, Acker Records