MetroGlow, aka Crispin Coulson, and I met up to chat about his lovingly crafted debut EP Kraftwerk Meine Liebe.
The title suggests more than a passing interest in the demigods from Düsseldorf. However, a close listen to the whole recording reveals a profound understanding and appreciation of electronic music, kosmiche, and soundtracks.
Crispin drew from his main influences to conjure a playful huldigung that will delight music lovers everywhere. And, the EP has already received local airplay and coverage as far afield as Australia, USA, and Mexico.
Each track broken down
As is often the case with instrumental music, why not let the artist describe the songs?
“My travels to Düsseldorf and happening upon Kraftwerk’s legendary and difficult-to-find studio – Kling Klang – inspired ‘Kraftwerk Meine Liebe’.
‘Motorik’ was informed by Neu! This was an attempt to capture their rhythm.
‘Trans-mission’ began life as a riff played on a cigar box guitar, which I sampled. The beats and accompaniment just evolved from there.
Blade Runner inspired ‘Off World’. It’s more ambient with low-frequency drones, dub-influenced floating keyboards, and constant rain.”
In terms of the whole record, Crispin said, “Electronic music can sometimes be just random buzzes and fuzzes and often not tuneful. So, while this EP is not exactly song based – there must be tunes. I like harmonies, rhythms, and hooks.”
“The record has an underlying, but unplanned, theme of transport and communication, in the broader sense.” And closer examination reveals this to be so. For example, ‘Motorik’ (from the German, it means ‘motor skill’), ‘Trans-mission’ (e.g. radio/TV broadcasts or what powers your car), and ‘Off World’ (travel – in this case inter-planetary voyaging).
As the brutal invasion of Ukraine continues, the importance of communications – roads, rail, media, etc. – is obvious and it shows how reliant we are on something all-pervading, which goes largely unnoticed in our everyday lives, until it is cataclysmically disrupted.
Therefore, no matter how appalling the world sometimes seems, we must value the beauty that exists and this cassette is a gorgeous thing.
MetroGlow’s debut EP may have begun life as a spontaneous lockdown endeavour; the result is a joyous paean to a genre that was always looking to the future. Kraftwerk Meine Liebe is just the start of MetroGlow’s voyage.
Kraftwerk Meine Liebe is released through the Transmission Boutique Record Label and distributed by Rough Trade.