Aural Fix: Föllakzoid

on March 2, 2015
Photo by Shazzula

Photo by Shazzula

One of the best neo-psych bands in the world right now is Chile’s Föllakzoid, a krautrock outfit which began as a collaboration between childhood friends Diego Lorca, Juan Pablo Rodriguez, and Domingo Garcia-Huidobro. Föllakzoid are perhaps the ultimate minimalist psych band, utilizing the motorik beat of Neu! and La Düsseldorf for endlessly extending locked-in grooves–a mesmerizing excursion into the unknown. What sets Föllakzoid apart from so many other worthy krautrock revival groups is that they have the sacred musical traditions of the Andes as their guide for this journey. In this sense, there is something of a bond between them and their South American contemporaries Montibus Comunitas and The Holydrug Couple, a bond stronger than that which connects them to Loop and Spacemen 3.

Before they were brought aboard Sacred Bones Records, they created Blow Your Mind Records in Santiago to release their first records as well as those of other local artists. In 2013 they toured with their Sacred Bones labelmates Psychic Ills, and released their excellent album II, which brought them acclaim and increased recognition. Over the past few years they’ve played All Tomorrow’s Parties, Primavera, and SXSW, and they don’t seem to be losing momentum.

Their upcoming album III is even more pared-down and minimal than II, with more emphasis on repetition and simple, insistent percussion lines. The songs on III were mostly written incidentally, developing out of soundchecks and live improvisations. The synth lines on this album were overdubbed by German musician Atom TM—his masterful contribution is most evident on the haunting closer “Feuerzeug.” On III, Föllakzoid draw an interesting connection between the ancient and the modern, creating a rhythm that sounds just as much like dub techno as it sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a sacred rite. A fine album and a fine band. You can check Föllakzoid, along with Mugstar, Eternal Tapestry, and Sungod at the Austin Psych fest in May–hope to see you there! »

– Matthew Sweeney

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