Tuesday 14 April 2015

Review: Engram – 'Karl Marx'

'Karl Marx'

The nineteen year old collaboration between electronic veterans Martin Bowes and John Costello had until now only produced one single in the form of 2013's 'What Am I?'. The single contained three tracks of progressive, cinematic electronics that distilled elements of their 30+ year careers and even goes on to recall the likes of Pink Floyd, Brian Eno and Kenji Kawai. The single hinted at great things to come, but sadly there was no full-length follow up. However in 2015 they have dropped a new single to coincide with the UK election.

The provocatively titled 'Karl Marx' is an undeniable electro floor-filler with it's Karftwerk-esque lead and political samples descending into a dark dance flavour. It's minimal, understated and deceptively straightforward, but it is nonetheless an addictive and memorable track.

The b-side, 'Highgate (Part 1)', returns to the ambient textures explored on the first release. Swirling synths and cinematic spaces vie for attention as the track slowly builds into a trippy and disorientating mix that sounds as though it would be at home on a sci-fi film soundtrack.

The production is excellent and has a clean modern style that brings the 80's themed electron crashing into the modern day while preserving the experimental edge that has been at the core of the Engram sound thus far.

Hopefully 'Karl Marx' is an indicator that the full-length Engram début is on the way. But in the meantime this is a great dance track with a wry bite of social commentary behind it that is fitting for the current political climate. Let's just cross our fingers there is more to come soon.  

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