Baltic Fleet – Towers (album) (Blow Up Records)

Released today, ‘Towers’ is the second album from UK instrumental artist Paul Fleming who records music under the name ‘Baltic Fleet’.

Following on from 2008’s self-titled album, ‘Towers’ is a sonic landscape that conjures visions of the industrial surrounds of Manchester and Liverpool. Immaculately arranged and recorded, ‘Towers’ is an aural delight that truly captures the essence of German pioneers, ‘Neu!’ and ‘Kraftwerk’.

While the album is essentially electronic, there are an array of sounds and moods experienced during the album. The album’s early tracks are deceptively upbeat however as the album progresses the vibe becomes increasingly and noticeably darker.

Each of the ten tracks are unique with their own sonic tapestries ranging from analogue synthesizers, reverberated guitars and a combination of industrial-sounding programmed drums and real drums.

Songs such as ‘Midnight Train’ and the album’s title track personify ‘Kraftwerk’ but without being derivative, while on ‘Headless Heroes of the Acropolis’ and ‘Hunting Witches’, guitars take a more prominent role calling to mind ‘The Cure’ circa ‘Disintegration’ or even ‘DIIV’ on their recently released album, ‘Oshin’ (see review earlier this month). Here, feelings of nostalgia are evoked however on ‘March of the Saxons’, a futuristic sci-fi world is created, recalling ‘Nine Inch Nails’ style industrial with its buzzing, synthesizer grooves.

‘Toire De’ sounds authentically 70’s; up-tempo number that combines guitars and synthesizers perfectly with a similar exploration to ‘Für Immer’ by ‘Neu!’. Closing track,‘Reno’ starts off as a melancholic piano-led number that intertwines Juno synthesizers but half way through morphs into 70’s style prog-rock/psychadelia.

‘Towers’ is a magnificent journey; cleverly composed and one of the year’s most enjoyable albums.