Sehnsucht – Wachstum

Sehnsucht is a relatively new name on the Russian rock scene, the band formed in 2008 in Saint Petersburg. Sehnsucht is a German word that roughly means “longing, yearning, craving”, but in a much more concise meaning “sehnsucht” describes a deep emotional state. That was the band’s idea while writing music for their debut album Wachstum (“growth” in German). Why would a Russian band use so much German, you ask? The answer lies in their music, as Wachstum is a on opus that blend krautrock with psychedelia and space rock, thus there are evident touches of bands such as Guru Guru, Agitation Free, Can, Ash Ra Tempel, but also in equal measure you can hear the presence of cult English space rock gurus, Hawkwind.

Wachstum is a 7-track album with a total duration of 47 minutes. It was recorded live in studio, so we get a beautiful energy from the band. The band has succeeded in building a strong structure out of every song and manages to avoid simplicity. They show this through their complicated arrangements presented through hypnotic beats, heavy guitar riffs, vigorous rhythm section and wailing processed synthesizers.

The opening, titled Wachstrum, starts with a repetitive calm chord that plays until the moment an exploding riff breaks this hypnotic sound-wall. The guitars are roughly distorted, with the addition of spacey synths and picnic soloing. After the introductory sleepiness, the song picks up speed and improvisational freedom that leads to heavy psyche/space rock insanity driven by piercing drums. The second half of the song saves a bit of the rocky impression from the beginning.

Thus follows Verstehen, which is down in its core more improv-oriented than its predecessor. The dynamic rhythm section is the best part of this track in particular. The guitars feel a bit more tamed on this one, the drums (especially in the beginning) remind me of Can’s, with its clocky cymbal sounds. There’s a surprising interlude in the middle of the song dominated by some sort of Oriental ringing, which gives off a deep emotional resonation that I mentioned at the beginning of this review.

Cosmic Drugstore is a track that’s somehow halfway between krautrock and electronic yet still far away from both labels. It’s like a cosmic fuzz with plenty of synthesizers, while looping guitars contribute to the final image of this piece.

Kosmiche Meerbrandung starts with an ambient passage that leads into droning parts that again pull space rock back onto the surface while guitars solo all over again. After a short wave of synths break, the riff explodes and song gets faster. Classic drumwork, wonderful synths and a guitar that plays an extended solo build up this one.

Cosmic Testpilots, another cosmic track, the overall feeling in this one is not however space rock, but hard rock. The track is adorned with an interesting guitar solo played through something I would describe as a spacey wah-wah.

Langsamer Tanz is a good sample of a krautrock/psychedelic/space rock mixture (don’t even dare to say it’s all the same!). Hypnotizing in its structure, which is achieved via synth interplay and echoing guitars –that all breaks in the closing part of the song when it starts to be much more messy and insane. Simply drains my brain out!

At the end comes Meat of the White Cosmic Geishas, which sounds more like an outtake than something that came from the same studio session. The song is totally disastrous fuzzy nightmare. There’s a feeling like the every of members has waited till the final 5 minutes to express all the anger, frustration or whatever that is through this piece of music. And this song shows that pretty well. Personally this one is my favorite, it’s gonna knock you down with a single shot!

All in all, Wachstum is a very good album that has what to offer to all of the krautrock, psychedelic and space rock fans out there, and considering its being the first one of these Russian newcomers, you can expect this band grows further. Kudos, pals!

Tracklist:

01. Wachstum

02. Verstehen

03. Cosmic Drugstore

04. Kosmiche Meerbrandung

05. Cosmic Testpilots

06. Langsamer Tanz

07. Meat of the White Cosmic Geishas

Line-up:

* Michael Linov – bass

* Timur Samatov – guitar

* Boris Popov – drums

* Catherine Lutsevich – keyboards

Links:

Sehnsucht @ MySpace

Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.
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