Achterbahn D’Amour: Odd Movements (Acid Test / Absurd Recordings)
Without fail, every year there are at least a handful of totally nice albums that slip by me completely unnoticed. Achterbahn D’Amour’s Odd Movements is one of these, with my only having discovered the album after the fact due to the recently released set of remixes from the album. The remixes are solid (I’ll get to those in a little bit), but the album really made a lasting and strong impression on me; I’m more a fan of the remix EP simply for turning me onto the album! It’s hard to quite do the music justice, because on paper it runs the risk of sounding too familiar, almost cliche. Many of these tracks revolve heavily around the classic and honored sounds of the 303 and 808, with additional layers and details fleshing out the arrangements. But compared to another throwback act like Automatic Tasty, whose music feels squarely rooted in both vintage Rephlex braindance material as well as melodic electro, most of Achterbahn D’Amour’s music herein feels heady and minimal.
When it does more fully bloom, it’s rousing; “Jaws of J.O.Y.” complements its squiggly acid patterns with some crisp, snappy beats and a keen sense of space. In contrast are tracks like “Passagen” and “Odd Movements” which are quite frosty and writhe in rhythm with their main 303 patterns. The most upbeat of the bunch is probably “Koenigstr” which throws down a clean four to the floor drum track and acid touches that give it some big warehouse heft. It’s rare that an acid album feels so authentic and dead on, and Odd Movements is both of these things. Highly recommended listening.