EP Review: Alex Kelman – ‘Dezinfekcia’.

Some things go together like pulled pork and slaw, some combos are a little less obvious. Now try mixing postrock and nihilistic synths, with lofi electro and bedroom based krautrock, and throw in some straight up anthemics… We end up with a cocktail of sonics and sounds that creates something tough, lean and sumptuous.

It’s ugly and pretty, both frantic and easy, as much aimed at stages with wide open space as it is claustrophobic and acrid. It’s almost a shame to pick through this release and expose all its working internals.

In this EP from Bratislava, Slovakia, we get the big sweeping synth pads and sweet swells of Maps, they’re the calm beneath all of the jitter. The clatter on top is the burnt out percussion and distortion of cult Kill Your Boyfriend. And in between all, twisting quick through the songs, we lurch from the coldwave romance of Vukovar, to ‘Rez’ era Underworld arpeggios. If this sounds like a head-twist of opposite forces, it is but it works so damn well.

The opening ‘Dezinfekcia‘ could be radio fodder, if it wasn’t so wrapped in frustration. There are lush atmospherics and pop culture highs, then a launch towards home taped electronics. As so often in each of this EP’s four tracks, there’s a restless mind bending the boundaries.

Rapid 19‘ is a crude postrock workout that’s peppered with bight piercing glances. Just as soon as we think there’s a roadmap or route, we get tugged in new freakish directions. It might not be the strongest, but it persuades and deceives, and again it’s a mess with a formula. Alex Kelman is a dictator of soundscapes, detractor of frameworks and structure.

From here there’s a down tempo turn, we’re in sub goth Bauhaus territory. ‘Seratonin‘ is the expansive and muscular track that precedes this release’s best song. ‘Poslanie’ is a rush of excitement and speed that folds in in every trick heard so far.

Rusty basslines run frantic. Glitched drums twitch through their programmes. Chaotic lof-fi electronics squeal and push their way through, and even still there’s a stadium feel. As melodies meant for arena-bound acts squeeze against all the heat and the gristle, we’re left wondering what it is we’ve just witnessed.

And that’s exactly the thrill of ‘Dezinfekcia‘, unpredictable and unexpected. Like it or loathe it, and like it you should, it’s a boisterous assault on the senses. But you might have got that from the cover… This combat dancepunk in new skin.