Camera’s fourth album holds few surprises in terms of direction, continuing to document their evolving krautrock adventure across an intergalactic soundscape. Partial to space-rock synthesisers from the outset, Emotional Detox continues a journey that began with debut album Radiate!, then continued through sophomore effort Remember I was Carbon Dioxide and follow-up Phantom of Liberty. Despite the fact the band are still plying the waters with most of the genre’s stock parts– 4/4 time signatures, understated motoric drumming and driving bass riffs – the timbral character rising from this foundation continues to transform. The newfound space-invader playfulness that noticeably imbued Phantom of Liberty is back again, as is the same spirit of fun and experimentation.

The album opens with the near eight-minute-long track ‘Gizmo’ - an assault of industrial percussion and pitch-bending space-race synthesizers. The latter of these permeate the record throughout to remind us of our location, or lack of it: we are lost within the cosmos. And judging by the unsettling and mysterious melodies drifting about, not everything out there beyond the plexiglass is friendly. The second track, ‘Patrouille’ (Patrol), opens with a mood so ominous we feel we may be imminently fending off a multi-headed alien with our laser blasters. Over the track’s twelve-minute run time its synthesisers and guitar play off each other in a delightful web of interactions. Riffs emerge, fade, reappear and evolve as the track develops. The intricacies of this interplay are bolstered by the fact Camera is now operating as a 5-piece after appearing as duo and trio on previous albums.

This opening pair are the longest tracks on the album, the band allowing us to appreciate several shorter sonic landscapes over the remaining time without wearing us out. There’s no reason that any of these latter tracks couldn’t be expanded, but there are so many different ideas here it makes sense that the band would want to make space to include all of them within the record. ‘Himmelhilf’ is a pop-banger in disguise, beginning with a chugging vortex of My Bloody Valatine-esqe reverb before breaking out into a danceable rhythm of stabbing synths and cheeky guitar riffs; ‘Ciao Cacaco’ is one of a few nods to Krautrock grandfathers Kraftwerk on the album, its lead synth line joyriding on a futuristic autobahn. ‘Pacific One’ starts with a grainy piano ballad and a jerky, offbeat synth reminiscent of Daft Punk’s ‘Voyager’, while the splashy cymbals and groovy bassline of ‘Nicenstein’ explore psychedelic waters usually forded by Wooden Shjips.

However, occasionally the ways in which the band develop these shorter tracks feels misjudged. In the case of ‘Himmelhilf’, the danceability of the track is lost at its climax when one too many elements are added to the mixer. ‘Ciao Cacaco’ drops its goofy but delightful lead synth halfway through and never picks it up again, leaving the climax feeling pedestrian. ‘Pacific One’ has its emotional draws smothered halfway through with an undeveloped distortion solo that squelches over everything like a space-slug on the hyperdrive vents.

Minor distractions like these cause some drag, but otherwise the album is sleek and spaceworthy. Camera are a band that know what they are, know what they must do, and do it well. Emotional Detox pushes their sound further towards pop than ever before, an interesting step for a band that started out playing Berlin’s streets as the “Krautrock Guerrilla”. Overall, with new members aboard and only minor compositional wobbles to speak of, Emotional Detox is a captivating, thoughtful and atmospheric album that floats the band’s sound into the outer reaches of the cosmos once again.