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A Magazine for Sheffield


The Weird & The Wonderful posit a homage to the rich, exploratory music of 1970s Germany, a time and place which has been recently and frequently extolled by many convincing practitioners. Geoff Barrow’s Beak> for one have elicited the motorik mesmerism of Neu, drawing on the strange compound of the unprecedented, wildly breakneck, yet somehow anchored propulsion that Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother generated. In the case of The W&W, it's the momentous synth composites of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze which are evoked, along with a more visceral percussive injection rooted in an industrial sound which often extends to something more dance-orientated.

Opener ‘TEOT-Hybrid’ channels these influences with a preference for fluted, mystic mellotron whistlings, underpinned by thick hums and swells of effects. On the back of this magnitude and flourish of frequency comes ‘Beat Destructions I-V’, which begins with promising disorientations; fans, whirs and occasional torrents of streaming static which open up to industrial impacts. Unfortunately, then comes a rudimentary kind of schlock-horror foreground which disappoints. Based on the refinement of the production you sense The W&W can do something much less maladroit. These destructions recover somewhat with a phase of gentle, shimmering bell tolls, but overall they bear mixed results as their ending features more trite gestures of tame menace. ‘The Random Eloquence of Beauty’ equals its ponderous title, with a fricative expression and an organic addition in the form of sparse Latin strums. Wholly compensatory.

With the second half comes a vehicular surge in the form of ‘Glasjam’, which abruptly brakes before standout ‘Geisterhaft’, a Cluster-like oddity with an atonal, subtle clangour for an introductory interlude. This sets up a longer phase of offbeat, enclosed rumbling, steady drips of liquid and mournful groans. Combined as they are these sounds conjure an uninhabitable subturranea. Wunderbar.

The form continues on ‘Year of the Android’ with an automated constancy and more mellotron, which this time sounds closer to strings, though dusty and faded like some forgotten artifact of utopian propaganda. Sporadic grindings and quietly dissonant rings creep and interject once again, replacing that prior optimism with unease.

Nudeln is by no means a perfect emulation of its source of affections – that would be an unfairly lofty expectation – but it is a worthy adjunct to an experimental and innovative lineage. Occasionally off the mark, but as a whole a convincing interpretation by a project in relative infancy.