Diary of a Kraut Ritual with OOHS! & Föllakzoid
On October 17, Föllakzoid (US) and OOHS! joined forces for a cosmic kraut ritual in the heart of Sofia.
Eighteen forty seven hours (Preamble): Loading our gear into the station wagon and taking off. It’s a fifteen minute drive to the venue. Nevertheless, Margg puts on a minimal electronic mix and we try to zoom out and get into a motorik head space.
Nineteen ten hours: We pull into the venue’s parking just as Föllakzoid’s kosmische Transporter is floating away. The coast is clear to unload gear and set up at our own leisure.
Nineteen thirty four: Guitar, pedal boards, old synths, drum machines, samplers, Moog woo-woo machines and what appears to be endless miles of cables are heaped on-stage. Soon enough this semi-sentient analog compost starts emitting low rumbling noises.
Twenty seventeen: Whiz kid Geegor is shaping the sound into a coherent form. Trusty Tropic of Cancel palm is propped up on-stage. Time for a (non-spiked) cup of tea.
Twenty one thirty (Opening act): We jump start straight into fifth gear with “Meet Me In The mirror” and “Suave Gear Changers”. We are charging full throttle, the bpm is not dropping below the 120 mark.
The ocean is now in our windscreen and we decide to slow down with “Mutually Assured Distraction”, rolling down the windows to feel the salty breeze on our skin. “Beachbum Blues (For Haruomi Hosono)” takes us down the off-ramp that dead-ends at the beach. We are now lying on the sand, stargazing, as we launch into “Supersonic Satellite”. Just as the cool sand and “Weekend Rust” send shivers down our backs, we are pulled back to reality.
A quick wave to the audience, a looping mantra of vocoderized good nights and we’re off.
Twenty two thirty (Showtime): The Pulse was there before the Big Bang, and it is seeping out of the PA before the full band are even on-stage. The motorik hum of synthesizers and the thump of Diego Lorca’s kick drum are taking us back onto the freeway, only now we are riding in pitch-black night. Our ride has miraculously transformed into a sleek vintage Teutonic limousine with ominously blacked out windows. Every now and then, our headlights reveal strange clusters of guitars and synths that appear as if from nowhere, only to recede back into darkness.
The ritual gathers pace, the band only appearing in silhouette, occasionally illuminated by the glow of Domingo Garcia-Huidobro’s communion candle. For the next hour Föllakzoid proceed to summon, and channel, the spirits of their kosmiche and minimal electronic forebears in a spectacle that swapped mystical modernism for hypnotically transgressive occultism.
And just as it began, the Krautrock ritual is over.
Still, the Pulse persists, as band members take turns in spinning techno bangers for the blissed-out, faithful few that stay behind to welcome the new day to a 4/4 beat.
Twenty three fourty seven: As the woozy crowd steps out into the surprisingly warm October night air, some still wide-eyed and dripping wet, the Pulse throbbing in their ears and in their veins.
Tonight the temple of Alarma Punk Jazz was visited by the motorik messiahs of Föllakzoid, and we all bowed down to the one true Pulse.