Momentform – Yearn (EP) (New Ideals)

New Ideals is a new label founded with a collective belief that music should “provoke austere feelings of love and discomfort”. The label’s debut release comes in the form of a cassette tape; a 4-song EP by Paris-based, Momentform.

Momentform are a krautrock synth act that draws upon both ends of the Kraftwerk spectrum;  both dark and contemplative as well as the more poppy and danceable side. Early Depeche Mode (circa ‘Speak and Spell’) also spring to mind during the poppier moments.

While listening to the EP be sure to visit Momentform on Tumblr and take in the visuals. While the art is not created by the band it perfectly compliments and captures the symmetry, precision and the “correctness” of their music,  some of which recalls a similar aesthetic to Peter Saville’s work for Factory Records and the art produced at Bauhaus, Germany.

At 15:29 in duration, ‘Yearn’ is a short but sweet EP and while it doesn’t create anything new, it’s thorough in its execution. The songs, like the clean lines found in the artwork, are based on minimalism with rhythmic synth hits and percussive plonks, and simple Alesis SR-16 drum machine beats.

The first track, “Harbours”, is an instrumental track and is the most ambient and hypnotic of the four tracks. Percussive 70’s style synths combine with thicker synth pads, which in turn provide an atmosphere and warmth. “Cecilia” is more unsettling than the opener and features a spoken word in French over cold and primitive synths creating a J.G. Ballard-like dystopia.

Side Two is poppier side of tape and “Semester” is the most up-beat danceable of the tracks containing some tasty and funky bass playing giving the song a “proggy” feel. You can’t listen to “Semester” without making comparison to “The Model” by Kraftwerk. The fourth and final track “Frames” is an instrumental track and continues with the pace, lled by a dominant bass line and layered with percussive synths giving the song a Blade Runner sci-fi feel.

Where acts like Baltic Fleet (read the review of the most excellent ‘Towers’ album released back in July) have been able to take the elements of Krautrock, modernize it with a 21st century spin, Momentform are very much content with sticking to the sound and platform that was utlilized in the late 70’s.

‘Yearn’ may not reach the hypnotic heights or send the listener on a transcendental journey like it may have hoped but it’s  extremely well played, accessible, thoroughly enjoyable and successful in its homage to authentic 70’s krautrock.

‘Yearn’ is available now as a limited edition cassette (strictly limited to 100 copies) from the New Ideals store.

Listen to the ‘Yearn’ in its entirety below: