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Frequency Drift - 2008 - "Personal Effects-I"

(61:15, Musea Parallele Records)

TRACK LIST:                   

1.  Albatross 6:47
2.  Ghost Memory 7:41
3.  River 4:46
4.  Fall 7:05
5.  Romance 9:09
6.  Personal Effect 3:54
7.  Anger 5:32
8.  Retribution 8:02
9.  Portrait 8:19


Andreas Hack – keyboards; programming
Katja Hubner – vocals 
Sebastian Koch – guitar 
Jurgen Rennecke – bass 
Wolfgang Ostermann – drums 

Prolusion. FREQUENCY DRIFT is a German act formed sometime around 2006, and the main idea for the band was to make futuristic, cinematic music influenced by movies such as "Blade Runner" and "Ghost in the Shell". The recording of their debut album took place in 2007 and in 2008 the band was signed to the French label Musea Records which subsequently released their debut production "Personal Effects Part One".

Analysis. Movies seem to have produced a rather strong influence on this outfit. For starters, their first release is a concept album, with a storyline set in a dystopian futuristic landscape, chronicling individuals’ struggles against a major corporation. Underlining the story is the booklet for the CD, containing drawings made in a storyboard fashion for each of the compositions. The main feature of the songs isn't what you'd say is typically cinematic in style, though. While containing many elements with soundtrack type qualities, this production's main focus are the vocals of Katja Hubner. She has a rich, powerful voice, carrying as well as enhancing the themes explored, and she's clearly skilled in terms of emotional delivery too; creating a strong and vibrant mood with her voice. The vocal parts of the compositions basically come in three varieties, evenly spread out in most songs. There are gentle, fragile passages with carefully crafted keyboard themes, in the form of piano and what sounds like a harpsichord, underscoring the vocals. In a few instances gentle, acoustic guitar licks will be a part of these passages too, although never given a dominant role. A second variety making up the songs are more fleshed out soundscapes, often with a driving, melodic bass line and slightly quirky drum patterns underscoring the vocals along with melodic guitars and floating keyboard layers in the back of the mix, while the last variety, most often found in the chorus part of the tunes, contains drawn out, subdued guitar chords of the distorted variety forming a more hard hitting and at times majestic sound accompanied by energetic drum patterns, layered keyboards and the bass guitar as a highly solid foundation for Katja's vocals to soar above. The instrumental passages in the tunes are mostly of a variety that should appeal to fans of neo progressive rock, atmospheric, melodic explorations with dreamlike moods and symphonic qualities. The odd one out on this production is the title track, a gentle, fragile and carefully crafted piano exploration, exploring sad and melancholy sounding themes.

Conclusion. Frequency Drift doesn't explore any new ground on their debut album, so those on the lookout for something fresh and inventive won't get their needs satisfied with this production. People into melodic, atmospheric progressive rock with leanings towards symphonic rock of the neo variety should find this release compelling. It's not innovative, but all aspects of the release are of a high quality – strong melodies and performances, well thought out compositions and a good mix and production.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: January 6, 2008
The Rating Room

Related Links:

Musea Records
Frequency Drift


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