Since reviewing the first album by Zement I have been kept entertained by the Würzburg duo’s forays onto social media which tells me at least two things. First is that these guys have a wicked and rather leftfield sense of humour and, second, that they seem to know a lot about cement. Indeed, anyone thinking of a theme for a band would be hard pressed to come up with a concept about this building material, never mind the levels to which they have extracted this.
Actually ‘concept’ might not be quite accurate because this suggests something ‘abstract’ rather than ‘concrete’, and there is something very solid about this band as well as this is a very solid album. Solid like a German autobahn, which in someways feels like a bit of a lazy reference on my behalf; but this is an out and out Motorik record and, let’s face it, Kraftwerk’s reputation was built on the autobahn; and the music of Neu is inherent in the modernism of the early 70’s.
Motorik and cement are therefore natural allies in an unnatural environment, and this is something which I think Zement capture here. That is because a cursory hearing of this album makes me think of the long stretches of concrete autobahn, especially those in and out of Berlin on which I’ve travelled many times, and yet there is more to this. While the pulsating beat is about the journey… the relentless move forwards… other elements of this music are about what you see out of the side windows. There is something more organic about this music that gives the album more of a spiritual feel, so while it is ‘motorik’ it is also ‘mantra’… a repetition that gets into your head and dislodges something, revealing something far more subtle in the music.
With ‘Klinker’ Zement have produced another set of tracks that will satisfy lovers of motorik with their intensity and sheer repetition, yet take a mental pick axe to it and you reveal something far more subtle below the surface. This is high modern music that also has soul.
‘Klinker’ is released by Sunhair Records, and is available from the Zement bandcamp on vinyl, cd and d/l here.
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