Norken and Deer

Norken and Deer

Norken & Deer

Micro Don Juan

Hydrogen Dukebox

There IS a middle ground in Elctronica! Some bands peg out on the “How weird can we make it?” meter; others stick to tarted-up disco and try to sound like Lady Gaga’s backup band. But here we have a pleasant island of stability. There’s enough variety to keep each cut interesting and distinct, and a steady and structured rhythm so you can groove along and not fall asleep. Vocals are rare but not really essential, and the press release is filled with gems like “bristle in ethereal ambience” and “chug though a sea of orchestrated pulses” while informing us the final disc was mixed at a gas works in Weimar, Germany. That, obviously, is the only seal of cool approval any record needs.

Musically, there’s a standard piano/ drums/ guitar underlying most of the cuts (I.e. “Micro Castaneda”), fancy synth riffs and remix tricks buff up others, and in “3cielo Simplified,” a pleasant female with a Brit accent tells us she’s “Such a scatter brain, with lucid moments” over a lightweight drop and loop. No argument there, but by “Beyond the Breeze’ we get back to what Norken & Deer do best — let us glide along on a magic monorail though a dreamland of electronic music.

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