Irklis – Onkalo (Album – Sturm)

By Jun 15,2021

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Genre/Influences: IDM, Industrial, Experimental.

Format: Digital, CD.

Background/Info: Irklis strikes back with their fourth full length album to date. The album was released four years after the great “Aus Dem Ruder”. It seems that the trio has been reduced to a duo, driven by Robin Brüning and  Aleksandrs Olgerts Berzins. The title of the album is a Finnish word describing a hiding place used by animals, but it’s also the name for the first final repository for nuclear waste in history.

Content: “Onkalo” features 11 songs moving on the sophisticated electronics of the Latvian formation. The songs are driven by retro sound treatments, which sometimes remind me of The Klinik, but also early Front 242 for the analogue sound treatments. The songs have been supported with dark atmospheres, which sometimes have something pretty Cinematographic. There’s a mix of instrumental tracks and sung ones; the vocals mainly produced in a half spoken way. The last cuts are more evasive while the title-tracks also is the last piece sounding as an outro.

+ + + : What I especially like with Irklis is the global intelligence of the production. This project is mixing great sound treatments together with poignant, dark atmospheres. The Klinik-al touch emerging at “Fahrt Ins Ungewisse”, and “Shine” bring some good-old memories alive. But Irklis has its own sound and approach; there’s a subtle and efficient mix of 80s influences with a contemporary touch on top.

– – – : The title song is nothing more than an outro and honestly not the best cut from this album. “Onkalo” is a great piece of music, but the last 3 songs are a little bit disappointing being a kind of antithesis to the main part of the work.

Conclusion: Irklis remains a great sound experience dealing with creative and sophisticated Electronics.

Best songs: “Fahrt Ins Ungewisse”, “Zintis Issüd”, “Shine”, “Pale”, “Omen”.

Rate: (8½).

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