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CD Feature/ qebo: "wroln"

img  Tobias

Even though the genre formerly known as „Intelligent Dance Music“ is now officialy dead, with even the most succesful proponents subsumed under the moniker claiming it was utterly besides the point, some of the questions raised within its context are still occupying the minds of experimental acts today. Among the issues which have remained under intense scrutiny are the relationship between the human and the robotic, between the organic and the synthetic, between simple emotional resonance and complex mathematical algorithms. „wroln“, too, is torn between these poles and it adds yet another aspect to the list: The symbiosis of audio and video.

Maybe qebo are therefore following a completely natural line of investigation with their second effort. All around us, borders are crumbling and demarcation lines are being crossed both in terms of what was deemed possible only a couple of years ago as well as what was considered ethically acceptable. The arts seem one of the few spaces which have the ablity to reflect upon these changes without succumbing to empty rhetoric. It fits, then, that there is nothing overtly political about „wroln“. Maybe there isn't even a hidden agenda underneath its surface – and yet its conclusions are certainly anything but pure entertainment.

Of course, the music alone warrants this. Every beat collected here bounces and billows into a thousand different directions at the same time, every arrangement bulges out by the weight of the creative potential attached to it and even shorter, more compact tracks go through various degrees of metamorphosis. Conflict is a natural state for this Greek duo, whether they are trying to reconsile static drones and hollering percussive work or spinning simultaneous cycles of decline and development. In fact, the album seems to suggest that this kind of conflict is inherent to all processes around us, arriving safely at the eye of the storm after navigating through a danger zone.

As could be expected, the main sensation while listening to „wroln“ is not one of surprise or alienation, but of feeling completely at home. The first track is called „new shit“, but with everything that has happened since the „worship of the glitch“ began, it simply couldn't live up to that claim. Or maybe qebo have come to the conclusion that we have come to a crossroads and that the future needs to take a step back towards more organic elements in order to advance.

Many passages here certainly solidify that impression. For after a frenzied opening, in which the humanoid machinery spews sparks of maddening algebra, the tone of the record becomes more conciliatory. Increasingly, a groove begins to establish itself, sending very physical impulses and catchy vibes to the dazzled mind. This development is completed with the irresistible push of closer „kloink media“ - a club track for New York rather than for new worlds.

The result is instantly convincing. „wroln“ still smacks of the exotic taste of  electroinsectoid amalgamations, but it has a smile on its face as well. In the videos which come attached to the audio material, three different directors take a similar approach in projecting this vision to the visual world. Especially Antony Squizzato's take on „Manifold“, with its warm threedimensional computer renderings, establishes virtual homes, which one would immediately want to live in, instead of marveling at their unattainability.

Returning to the debate mentioned in the first paragraph, „wroln“ may not have a political program on offer. And yet, its message seems clear: The future is something to look forward to – if we do not forget about our human core. Their music, meanwhile, is a pretty good soundtrack to this evolution as it takes shape.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: qebo
Homepage: Low Impedance Records

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