Camera: krautrock from Berlin. Do I really need to add anything else?

26th October 2016

Title: Phantom of Liberty

Label: Bureau B

New to me although I hear that the band’s debut release (Radiate!) hit the streets in 2012, this trio hail from Berlin and hold their krautrock genre with some pride. In fact, no other than the mighty Neu! man Michael Rother has regularly fashioned a Germanic thumbs up in their general direction. So one must take note, therefore. Especially, after Camera actually supported Neu! in concert and then later Rother invited them to perform a joint show with him and Cluster god, Dieter Moebius.

Camera are an energetic lot. They tend to appear here and there without much warning occupying guerilla gigs across Berlin while their anti-establishment ideas have won them much underground support.

This release is the band’s third album (following the EP Système Solaire and the 2014 album, Remember I Was Carbon Dioxide). In audiophile terms, the music has been recorded ‘low’ enough to offer some good instrumental separation that allows the organic instruments such as the drums to blend easily with the synth work.

What I love about this album (and, I gotta say right now that I really love this album) is the rolling, striving, never to be stopped, beat that hits you. Many a head will nod during play on this CD. It’s infectious and gets under your skin very quickly indeed while the instrumentation and, to some extent, the arrangements have a slight retro feel to them that blends well into the obvious broad-based suite of ideas from the band. This instrumental album is also full of moods, there’s plenty of power here but the album doesn’t overly rely upon it. Taking the classic European krautrock structures but also introducing more eastern influences that are add an almost alien-esque, space rock essence to the album. The overall combination is quite delicious.