Acretongue's complex, slightly melancholy brand of electro, free of heavy percussion but graced with hypnotic, dark romantic vocals, marks a welcome return to a nearly forgotten sound
Acretongue is the first electronic project we know of from South Africa and despite the associations one might have with its country of origin, "Strange Cargo" is bursting with perfection, starting with the incredible cover art and extending to the dark, hypnotic and nonetheless warmly enveloping music.
Hailing from a musical no-man's-land between mind.in.a.box and haujobb, Acretongue have a distinct style all their own, although their expensive, complex electronics may remind electro connoisseurs of bygone days and bands like Trauma, Violet Arcana, Clock DVA, Chris & Cosey and This Digital Ocean. While still commonplace in techno, ethereal melodies like this are sadly difficult to find these days on electro-industrial record. Acretongue's complex, slightly melancholy brand of electro, free of heavy percussion but graced with hypnotic, dark romantic vocals, marks a welcome return to a nearly forgotten sound.
Thematically and stylistically, Acretongue (a name borrowed by solo artists Nico J. from a Terry Pratchet story) explores individuality; those inexplicable parts of us that make us individuals, that drive us both to irrational acts but also inspire us to great new heights. This philosophy is reflected not only in the album artwork but also in the sound, creating an unusually haunting album with exceptional sound design, a welcome new face on the electro and synthpop landscape. Nico J. has spent over four years putting the finishing touches on his "Strange Cargo", but the wait has been worth it: an electro highlight of the year!