The three members of Aloa Input are at the forefront of the Munich-based “New Weird Bavaria” movement, which takes philosophical and musical cues from definitive German experimental acts Can and Kraftwerk along with more recent trendsetters The Notwist. On Anysome, Aloa Input’s debut full-length, the band explores the middle ground between indie pop sensibility and art rock experimentation.
Among the first sounds on Anysome is what seems to be rhythmic bird chirping. The track, “Another Green World,” borrows more than just a title from Brian Eno: it produces an organic sound via a synthesized medium. Like Eno’s vastly influential “ambient” records, Anysome’s sonic qualities achieve a remarkably uncanny listening experience, blurring the line between the natural and the artificial.
Among the album’s greatest successes is its mixing. The three musicians, each of them veteran members of New Weird Bavaria acts like Missent To Denmark and Angela Aux, can vocally harmonize as aptly as their indie rock peers (Local Natives, Yo La Tengo, etc). But their mastery lies in the instrumental interplay. Each sound on Anysome – be it the African percussion of “Rubbish,” the spidery math-rock guitar riffs and tropicalia synth beats of “This Must Be the Age,” or the washes of droning noise on “Zweiklang” – is positioned in the mix with precision and purpose. There is a wealth of marvelous sounds all across Anysome, and each is allowed prominence without muddling or overshadowing another.
Aloa Input has no reservations embracing the influence of its native country’s musical pioneers. Lead single “Going Home” drives with a rhythm reminiscent of the motorik beat championed by Neu! and later aped by Radiohead. None of the tracks on Anysome even approach the timespan of longer Can cuts, but the album shares that act’s fondness for encompassing a myriad of genres, sometime within a single song, to achieve a singular listening experience.
The thirteen tracks on Anysome wisely tread an established middle ground between convention and exploration. “Radio,” the most memorable track here, plays a few tricks vocally, but steadily maintains its infectious momentum. Never does the record sink too deep into heady experimental quicksand, nor does it overstay its welcome in melodic art-pop. Aloa Input proves with its debut that the band is not afraid to rip out a few pages of the rulebook, pocket them for later, and then burn the rest.