Remember I Was Carbon Dioxide
Yes, you can actually hear it. Respect. There it is, in the very first track on the new Camera album, a little sound signature elegantly woven into the hypnotic maelstrom of the music, contiguous to "From the Outside" -- like a distant echo -- Kraftwerk's revered "Autobahn." Which brings us directly to Krautrock, that perennial badge of hipness. The ultimate honorary title for repetitive music, as played by Camera. In fact, the Berlin band's penchant for playing without permission in underground stations or other public places (in the gents at the Echo Awards ceremony) has seen them dubbed "Krautrock Guerilla." Nevertheless, the Krautrock label remains just that, slapped on to rescue nameless music from limbo, vainly searching for a pigeonhole. Camera are not seeking to emulate the sound of older Krautrock bands, in any case. Nor have they been listening incessantly to NEU! or Can. "Perhaps we just have the same angle of approach," suggests keyboard player Timm Brockmann, "we start playing and simply go with the flow." Motorik-driven, energetic stretches laced with psychedelic overtones rise up from keyboards, drums and guitars, much as they did for the pioneers of German Krautrock some 40 years ago, without any sense of imitation or facsimile. The band does not even imitate itself. That would amount to nothing short of a moratorium, restricting their advancement. When it comes to principles, the principal objective is progression. Their commitment to playing anywhere and everywhere reaches beyond spontaneous concerts on the streets of Berlin. All the world's a stage. On the back of Radiate! (BB 116CD/LP) their debut album from 2012, Camera extended their range to Russia and the USA. While Radiate! was entirely the product of studio improvisation, Remember I Was Carbon Dioxide sees Timm Brockmann and drummer Michael Drummer revisit and revise jams supplemented by various different guitarists and other guest musicians, exploring the possibilities of the studio as a reflection loop without losing sight of their overriding impulse to improvise -- which is, after all, the essence of Camera. One hears a hypnotic beat. A musical drift that sweeps the listener into a trance. Shimmering elegance, forceful bursts of garage rock, a gentle flow, spherical flight. And one can hear it resonate beyond the horizon of this music. Searching, researching, yearning. Camera have the resolve to search and explore -- listen to "Hallraum," for example, the closing track on their new album -- they have an appetite for beauty, to play around with it a little. You can still call it Krautrock, if you must.