There’s something quite special about hearing a new Videodrones album. Since the 2016 debut album Mondo Ferox, the duo of Jakob Skott and Kristoffer Ovesen has created an aura of mystery with their heavy synth Dystopia put to record. Using queasy VHS horror rentals of the 80s as a their starting point, these two Danish sound wizards began to weave together circuital visions of Giallo, slasher, and wonky sci-fi scores that never were. Their music isn’t imagined, though. These records are the sound of guys like Froese, Schulze, and Lorenz had they gotten the horror itch from Frizzi, Rizzati, and Ortolani.
Cosmic records that make you think twice about walking into a darkened room.
Over three albums, including Mondo Ferox, Natten Haevn, and Atavistic Future, Videodrones explored the darkness and late VHS nightmares while adding their own cosmic approach and Komische touches to the proceedings. We now have their most exploratory record yet with After The Fall. They broaden the scope of their sonic world by opening the possibliltes with the addition of Skott’s kinetic drumming and shimmering guitar lines that give their sound a more vast feel. It’s a stunning album, and one that has opened the doors to so many new possiblities.
I’m not gonna lie, I could listen to ten albums like Mondo Ferox, Natten Haevn, and Atavistic Future. The back and forth of modular synth and the wonky sound world they create is my kind of trip. Those three albums towed the line between 70s deep synth acid trip and sweaty 80s slasher score. Argento and Fulci on LSD. But After The Fall opens the window and lets some fresh air into the basement listening room. The haze clears and a touch of sunlight envelopes the shadows.
After The Fall opens and you get the one-two punch of “Void Facer” and “Scorpio”, two brightly-lit tracks that have post-rock undertones courtesy of an almost optimistic synth melody. The drums add a bit of heft, giving it all a three-dimensional vibe. Videodrones are in new territory here and I like it. Then we get “Frygten’s Time” with this almost Rockwell “Somebody’s Watching Me” vibe in the creepy synth line that hangs in the air. This is some eerie synth goodness. This is like the Prog-rock version of a Goosebumps theme that I could get completely behind.
Then something like the sweet and sublime “Irgendwo-Irgendwann” floats in like a gauzy dream. Subtle synths and what sound like vibes take you into another realm. “Wasteland Interceptors” permeates dread through syncopated synth, crackling snare, and cinematic scope that goes from late-60s to the 80s. “Ar Amarelo” bubbles with an effervescence, woozy synths intertwine with jangly guitar lines painting visions of a post-apocalyptic sunrise. “Blaster” has a triumphant uplift, complete with an almost “Baba O’Riley” lean in the synth line.
Videodrones have taken their sound to new sonic heights on After The Fall. Skott and Ovesen have evolved from their modular horror synth beginnings and have added new layers and depth to what came before. They still dabble in the darkness, but let just enough light shine in this time around. There seems to be endless possibilities for Videodrones’ circuital dread, and I like the sound of that.
‘After The Fall’ drops 4/29 on El Paraiso Records. Preorder it here.