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Trouble In Mind Records are one of those labels whose new releases I'll never question; from Jacco Gardner to The Limiñanas, the Chicago-based label always seems to put out exciting new sounds that are simultaneously integrated with and detached from any new musical fads.

This is the case of Swiss duo Klaus Johann Grobe. Following their self-titled EP from 2013, as well as a highly-acclaimed single called 'Traumhaft', they now release their debut album Im Sinne Der Zeit. The first impression you get is that it's not like anything you've heard before. For starters, they sing in German (and I must add one is not very acquainted with the language being used in this kind of Kraut-Tropicália sounds); this gives their songs a visceral feeling of "estrangement" that, added to a faux ad-libitum vibe, basically annuls our notion of space and time, making it impossible to tell if a track has been playing for three minutes or three hours.

Sevi Landolt's synths on tracks like 'Les Grecks' or the album's first preview 'Between The Buttons', provide Im Sinne Der Zeit's solid structure, working both as an agglutinative element and as an interesting characteristic of the band's sound (very similar to what happens to French band La Femme's "strange wave"). On tracks like 'Koffer', for example, the beat is brought to the front, stopping the keyboard from imposing too heavily on the track - this results in a more dramatic insertion of the main riff and a subsequent democratisation of every part of the track. Also present on tracks such as 'Schlaufen Der Zukunft' is a very jazzy undertone - a toxic, smoke curtain made of temporary opiate numbness that strains the time-stood-still feeling (there is a reason why the album is called Im Sinne Der Zeit, "In the Sense of Time"), while 'Aufstand' stands out with a steadier, funkier groove.

There are psych elements on songs like 'Regan Raus' (the atmospheric opening) or 'Kothek' (the hypnotising keyboard), but Klaus Johann Grobe's approach to it is much more connected to the Brazilian fusion of MPB rhythms with new beats (that eventually gave birth to Tropicalismo) than to the new wave of psychedelic sounds. This, allied to a new electronica approach and a Kraut heritage, is what makes Im Sinne Der Zeit inviting, bizarre, and brilliant. There's a slight despair in Klaus Johann Grobe's music that makes us connect with it from a beatific, spiritual dimension, awakening parts of our brain that we didn't even know we had. Put simply, Im Sinne Der Zeit is a blow to the head.

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