Tracklab release “Route”


Like a rising tide from the ocean, a misty sonic glow begins to emerge from below the surface of our consciousness. It’s gaining momentum quickly, and before we know it, it’s filled up the entire sky above us, and is starting to dig into the earth as well. Suddenly the churn of its accumulating wall of sound is penetrated by a sharp flash of melody that ushers in the second act of the immense audiological journey that is Tracklab’s newest experimental frenzy, “Route,” out this summer via their Stereo Breeze imprint. It’s an ambitiously harmonious track for the two German ambient gods that comprise Tracklab, and shows a tremendous amount of growth in both composition and executional skills for the unit. I had the pleasure of sitting in on a pre-release listen of “Route,” and although I’ve come to expect nothing but good work from these two Bavarian innovators, this song far and away exceeded my expectations.

The creative ball first got rolling for Tracklab back in 2010, when its two songwriters first met. You could tell from the very beginning that they shared something very special in common, something that bound them in an almost divine way that could only lead to the sort of creative output that they’re doing now. The duo have cut 11 tracks to date, and “Route” proves to be their most cohesive and solid effort yet, showing off how elaborate they can get when they go into the studio with no rules or limitations to what they could come up with. There’s a certain improvisational vibe to this song that makes me feel like it came out of a stream of consciousness, free form style exercise between Andy and Jens at some point when they were last collaborating. Nothing here feels manufactured or second generation; there’s a glisten that even the littlest of intricacies in the track vibrantly displays with a carefree sense of confidence and swagger.

I’ve always been a big fan of ambient, experimental and noise music my entire life. I came up listening to Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music like it was Meet the Beatles, and to this day I feel a certain kinship with the Sonic Youth records I inherited as a teenager. Anyone who truly appreciates music that pushes all of the boundaries and strives to create fresh, original soundscapes that we can get lost in and connect with on a level that goes far deeper than a dancefloor will have no difficulties falling in love with Tracklab and their charismatic style of eccentric eclecticism. “Route” may not be a song that was constructed or designed with Top 40 radio in mind, but it is nevertheless a fearlessly ambitious and intellectually stimulating track that deserves the attention of both critics and music fans. I highly recommend that avant-garde audio enthusiasts give Tracklab a close look as their career unfolds before our eyes and ears and give “Route” a couple of spins as we officially kick off summer this month. After all, nothing goes better with a change in seasons than a new style to soundtrack it.


Sebastian Cole