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Der Petunienmann von Metaluna Vier: Weisser Alarm

Album Review

A mouthful of bleeping marvellous Teutonic prog.

Given that they hail from Kraftwerk’s own Dusseldorf, Der Petunienmann von Metaluna Vier couldn’t fail to absorb some of the pulsing industrial rhythms and quirky electronic trimmings of krautrock. Weisser Alarm isn’t a retrogressive record, but the spirit of those early 70s experiments bubbles beneath the surface of these delightfully peculiar missives from the robotic void.

Featherlight, deadpan vocals and the alluring repetition of Neu!-like live drums are the principal, tangible elements bridging humanity and blank-eyed mechanical repetition on the wonderfully sparse Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser, and Mahlstrom’s beguiling guitar solo nods sleepily towards the Cosmic Jokers and Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain

Fizzing drum machines and untethered bleeps give Jumping Beans (PDL 1) a surreal edge, melodramatic synths collide with proto-metal shredding on the unhinged Mezzoforte (PDL 9)

A flagrant nod to King Crimson’s Larks’ Tongues In Aspic underpins the fuzzy thrust of Ralph, on this bewildering, oddly cohesive sprawl of cut’n’paste sound effects, electronically mangled voices and mischievous avant-rock fidgeting.

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