Totakeke - Telematic (2018)
Four years in the making, Frank Mokros returns with his Totakeke moniker – and you know it’s not going to be easy, but surely rewarding for the discerning electronic aficionado. Totakeke’s brand of IDM extends the usual notions of the genre: It has the atmosphere, the occasional melodies, the inquiring mind and joy of pure sound – but successfully feeds industrial rhythms into his collages. “Telematic” feels perfectly comfortable in that remote area of braindance, with the opening and closing titles of the album providing a truly sophisticated, experimental frame. Thus, the buildup of “Telematic” is a comprehensible guideline for a fascinating exploration.
Telematics is the relatively new field combining aspects of telecommunication and informatics. Most commonly known are its achievements in navigation and tracking, both of which are technologies that weren’t available to consumers until most recently, and are very widespread nowadays.
Noisy bits grating like sandpaper, arcane sounds creeping in, the most simple rhythm imaginable, and then – melodic grandeur: “Phase Tilt” takes its time to prepare the listener for things to come. And that is nothing less than seven more action-packed XXL tracks: From the sleazy dance pulse of the title track to the electro swagger of “Asphalt” and “Sideband” you can never quite make out why music with such fierce bits of abstraction seems so inviting for daring some dance moves (don’t tell anyone: It’s the pounding impact of the kicks). “Z_FDB” brings on the most un-digital-sounding moments of the album, just to be contrasted with the glitches and cuts of “Operator” and the noisy contortions of “Con-tu-sion”. The grand finale is “Moth to a Flame”, all mechanized rhythms – and a testament to the album’s tumultuous severity.
One will surely agree that navigating Totakeke territory is a challenge not easily met. So enjoy your exercise in auditory path finding!