Acretongue - Strange Cargo
Dark Electro, Dark Ambient The progression between Acretongue's debut album 'Nihil' and this new one is nothing short of astonishing. The abilities on display here and level of composition leave me grasping for words to accurately describe how magnificent and overwhelmingly detailed this material is. Chord changes, tempo reversals, melodies interspersed within breaks that never quite succumb to dance floor oblivion. All of this and more await you who enter into the immersive microscopic galaxy of sound which Acretongue bequeaths as though it were nothing more than an afterthought. I liked the first album this band did but this one, wow... just wow. I read that he spent four years making 'Strange Cargo' and it doesn't surprise me in the least; I'm seldom blown away by much in the Dark Electro genre anymore (it has, for the most part, ceased to exist and bottomed out into another facet of pop music) but to get such a fully formed album from a relative newcomer is encouraging beyond what mere words can convey.

It's been a long time, a very long time since an artist came along with such a clearly defined sound and engaged my mind on this many levels. Not since the days of Index's 'Sky Laced Silver' or Seven Trees 'Embracing the Unknown' did a record get as many repeat listens as this one has. He's really poured his heart and soul into the forges of creation and come up with a collection of songs (and they are most assuredly songs) which tell tales of disconnection, longing, regret and most impressively: hope. The music may be dark, the imagery of 'Strange Cargo' is unquestionably futuristic but despite these things so many of the tracks on here smolder with resilient optimism. I don't know what has gone on in the world of Acretongue but he doesn't subscribe to the cowardly nihilism so many in this style fall victim to. If I had to draw a connection to any other artist out there, it would not be Mind.In.A.Box, it would be Forma Tadre's first release 'Navigator' from way way back in 1996.

You may begin to see a pattern to how this band come across to me, he is a continuation of all that was good and grand in the 90s when every other week labels like OffBeat, Zoth Ommog, Machinery and Celtic Circle were blowing our minds with what they'd found and chose to release. Those were heady days, much more experimentation was undertaken by the bands of that age. Acretongue have embraced and evolved that era beautifully. This is one of the most gorgeous records you will hear this year and I don't say that lightly. Innovative usages of rhythms and vocals abound on 'Strange Cargo', I have no doubt that some day people will view this album as when the tide turned against the overwhelming tsunami of shit which has been bombarding us since the turn of the millennium. He really has no qualms at all totally changing the focus and feel of what he creates, so don't put this on and expect to casually pick through what is on offer. You won't be able to put this creature down, I'm on listen twelve at this point; I got home and found it waiting and have not removed it from my player yet.

Big things are no doubt in store for this man and his brilliant works, the return of intricate electro with an intelligent basis has a new outlet. Along with others such as Index AI, THD, Pail and Individual Totem, Acretongue stand in the vanguard of what is at last going to breathe some life into a style and scene which has been stagnant for too long. I've played this album up against all the greats and like them, it holds it's own with a feel that is like no other. Even on a rain drenched night with the light bleeding into the gutters there is an emotional core which cannot be extinguished. Strange Cargo is that core.
5
Brutal Resonance

Acretongue - Strange Cargo

The progression between Acretongue's debut album 'Nihil' and this new one is nothing short of astonishing. The abilities on display here and level of composition leave me grasping for words to accurately describe how magnificent and overwhelmingly detailed this material is. Chord changes, tempo reversals, melodies interspersed within breaks that never quite succumb to dance floor oblivion. All of this and more await you who enter into the immersive microscopic galaxy of sound which Acretongue bequeaths as though it were nothing more than an afterthought. I liked the first album this band did but this one, wow... just wow. I read that he spent four years making 'Strange Cargo' and it doesn't surprise me in the least; I'm seldom blown away by much in the Dark Electro genre anymore (it has, for the most part, ceased to exist and bottomed out into another facet of pop music) but to get such a fully formed album from a relative newcomer is encouraging beyond what mere words can convey.

It's been a long time, a very long time since an artist came along with such a clearly defined sound and engaged my mind on this many levels. Not since the days of Index's 'Sky Laced Silver' or Seven Trees 'Embracing the Unknown' did a record get as many repeat listens as this one has. He's really poured his heart and soul into the forges of creation and come up with a collection of songs (and they are most assuredly songs) which tell tales of disconnection, longing, regret and most impressively: hope. The music may be dark, the imagery of 'Strange Cargo' is unquestionably futuristic but despite these things so many of the tracks on here smolder with resilient optimism. I don't know what has gone on in the world of Acretongue but he doesn't subscribe to the cowardly nihilism so many in this style fall victim to. If I had to draw a connection to any other artist out there, it would not be Mind.In.A.Box, it would be Forma Tadre's first release 'Navigator' from way way back in 1996.

You may begin to see a pattern to how this band come across to me, he is a continuation of all that was good and grand in the 90s when every other week labels like OffBeat, Zoth Ommog, Machinery and Celtic Circle were blowing our minds with what they'd found and chose to release. Those were heady days, much more experimentation was undertaken by the bands of that age. Acretongue have embraced and evolved that era beautifully. This is one of the most gorgeous records you will hear this year and I don't say that lightly. Innovative usages of rhythms and vocals abound on 'Strange Cargo', I have no doubt that some day people will view this album as when the tide turned against the overwhelming tsunami of shit which has been bombarding us since the turn of the millennium. He really has no qualms at all totally changing the focus and feel of what he creates, so don't put this on and expect to casually pick through what is on offer. You won't be able to put this creature down, I'm on listen twelve at this point; I got home and found it waiting and have not removed it from my player yet.

Big things are no doubt in store for this man and his brilliant works, the return of intricate electro with an intelligent basis has a new outlet. Along with others such as Index AI, THD, Pail and Individual Totem, Acretongue stand in the vanguard of what is at last going to breathe some life into a style and scene which has been stagnant for too long. I've played this album up against all the greats and like them, it holds it's own with a feel that is like no other. Even on a rain drenched night with the light bleeding into the gutters there is an emotional core which cannot be extinguished. Strange Cargo is that core.
Oct 31 2011

Peter Marks

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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