Another batch of vinyl records recently arrived from the tireless Sounds Of Subterrania Records from Hamburg, Germany. This particular record label is not a stranger to these pages, and I previously had a chance to review some of their incredible records. The label is famous for its diversity and innovation in vinyl packaging, so this batch came with a mind-blowing poster dedicated to vinyl records. Lo Fat Orchestra was the first group that caught pair of my ears as I started digging through the package, so let’s start with their latest release from 2017 called Neon Light. Despite the fact this full-length is four years old, it still sounds fresh, unique, and deserves your utmost attention. Therefore, I will talk about it a little bit more today.
Neon Lights sounds and appears like something you could usually stumble upon at Sounds Of Subterrania Records. Seriously, if you’re into anything from garage rock or punk rock to world music and ethno, then this label is a perfect choice for you. Gregor Samsa has a distinctive taste for music, and all his releases are incredible. This full-length comes after Question For Honey (2009) and The Second Word Is Love (2012). It contains seven powerful compositions, so maybe some purists may call this a mini-album, but believe me, seven numbers are more than enough to fall in love with this Swiss trio. Also, there’s a superb cover of Imagine by John Lennon. For those who’re not familiar with the sound of Lo Fat Orchestra, their sound probably comes close to synth-wave, but with the addition of some other complementary genres. You may hear everything from synth-wave, synthpop, new wave, post-punk, garage rock, but Lo Fat Orchestra deals with all these elements with ease, so you will immediately pinpoint this particular sound to this band.
Lo Fat Orchestra bases its sound upon a robust rhythm section that offers very effective rhythmical sequences and structures. Just like at many good synth-wave records, the low-end tones are playing one of the primary roles. The basslines are sometimes synthy, sometimes clean, sometimes distorted, but always punchy, catchy, hypnotic, and incredibly addictive. The synths/keys lead all the melodies, harmonies, chord progressions, and you won’t even notice the absence of guitar. Lo Fat Orchestra is one of those groups that doesn’t need that kind of instrument because bass guitar and synths fulfill the entire ambiance with ear-appealing tones. Of course, if we exclude a solo at Bankrupt Democracy. The vocals will also be right up your alley if you’re profoundly into synth-wave sound. These chants are coming like cherry over the top. Somehow all the vocal segments perfectly fit all the partitions of these compositions. Neon Lights is not just another synth-wave record you stumble upon every day. This particular material is thoughtfully constructed and perfectly executed. It contains so many hidden details, accentuations, segments, arrangements, and you’ll be blown away by the ideas of this Swiss trio. Neon Lights is still available on vinyl at Sounds Of Subterrania Records. Head over to their website for more information about ordering.