Review: Kotra – Freigeist

It’s the electronic equivalent of a clenched fist. A bundle of low drones pressing inward, squeezing into other another, spluttering as the tension becomes too much, buzzing like a pitched-down tesla coil. And like a clenched fist, this knot of drones is a point of unstable energy consolidation. It cannot hold. This isn’t a viable equilibrium. This energy will have to be dispersed somehow. And the beat – that muffled bass drum, like an insistent knocking through the floorboards – is only going to make things worse.

Over headphones, Freigeist becomes pure nausea – a brain bulging and churning, a pressure behind the eyes, a gravity intensifier that makes my jaw hang open. One of the tracks here is titled “Inhaling A Black Fog”, which neatly summarises the intrusiveness of Kotra’s sound. To say that I “listen” to this record implies a certain control on my part; that I am applying sensory attention unto an object placed in front of me. Actually the experiential has more of a viral quality. This sound inhabits me, with pulses of electricity nestling in my stomach and oozing to the tips of my fingers. And yet, thanks to the restraint that holds this tar-black sickness under the surface, I never get the cathartic vomit I’m looking for. Nauseated, bedridden electronics.