Loved Drones The Tangible Effect of Love Compact Disc
You can say what you like about the mainstream rock of The Killers, but the question they ask in their song Human: “Are we human or are we dancers?”, may well leave its mark on the history of pop music. In its own way, the new Loved Drones release on Belgian label Freaksville sidesteps this question, exploring a world a long time abandoned by man: with its soaring, instrumental and metronomic pop, this album is made for robots who want to rattle their booty on the dance floor. Initially conceived to pay tribute to Krautrock – a genre continuously revered over the last 10 years – during the course of recording sessions, “The Tangible Effect of Love” morphed into something more sentimental and ultimately has more in common with Brainticket’s long psychedelic tracks than the repetitive grooves from the likes of Neu! and other German rock figureheads of the 70s, although the use of flute is a subtle nod in the direction of Kraftwerk’s first LP.
Freaksville has grow into one of the stalwarts of Central European Garage Rock and, with five long years of in-depth electronic research under their belt, The Loved Drones have taken the label in a new direction, if not radical, at the very least fresh. After stripping down rock with the group Ufo Goes UFA, tarting up popwith Marie France and Lio and revamping song writing with the scathing lyrics of cowboy Jacques Duvall, now it’s plan B time for Phantom, the sumptuous backing band who have lent themselves to all these previous projects . Time for a more electronic journey with synths leading the way and humans playing second fiddle; time for The Loved Drones.
The Loved Drones compose almost on automatic pilot and on this first album, there is a flavour of modernism that evokes futuristic teenage nightclubs of the next decade. Inspired by cult Library Music (Alain Goraguer’s “La Planète Sauvage”, Dario Argento soundtracks by Italian prog rockers, Goblin), the music of these strange Loved Drones flirts with romanticism right from the opening number, Tangible, a long Jazz Rock, genetically modified track where Fender Rhodes, frothy harmonies and Krautrock rhythms intertwine. The rest of the album follows suit. It’s indefinable yet very precise and alternates tracks where a keyboard adopts the role of lead singer (Redcity) and others that create the impression that John Carpenter has turned his hand to erotic fiction (Hinderburg Omen).
After so many years spent accompanying others like Damo Suzuki, Stereolab and Laetitia Sadier, it seems that these accomplished musicians are now ready to emerge from the shadows and stand on their own two itchy feet. Two English freaks in love with synthesizers (Android 80 and Man From Uranus), the fabulous George Hermans on Fender Rhodes, Jean François Hustin on flute and special guest Emmanuelle Parrenin (70s underground experimental folk icon from the group Topaze), The Loved Drones are led by Benjamin Schooswhose most recent album “China Man Vs China Girl” met with substantial success in the UK.
Very much a first in the history of the label, The Loved Drones have no singer. Yet “The Tangible Effect of Love” retains Freaksville’s ambition and objective to expand its empire from Liege to London via Berlin. With all these factors in mind, we can return to our original question: Are the Loved Drones human or are they dancers? According fellow Belgian freak Arno they are neither: “Fuck, these guys are European above all”.