Thanks to years of obsessive listening and a deep-seated impulse to taxonomize, I tend to place most bands within the booming
#EmoRevival #KrautrockRevival into two distinct and vastly overgeneralized categories:
1. The Neu! School (by way of Stereolab and related projects):
Characterized by: crisp production; relatively dry guitar tones; rhythmic precision; concurrent incorporation of tropes from other 50s/60s/70s genres (lounge, library music, jazz, funk, prog); minimalist instrumentation; the motorik beat; incessant repetition.
For example: CAVE, Beak>, Siinai, Fujiya & Miyagi, newer Lower Dens material.
2. The Amon Düül [II] School (by way of Spacemen 3 and related projects):
Characterized by: freewheeling “psychedelic” exploration; heavily effected guitar tones; swirling trails of distortion/delay/feedback; detours into dissonance and/or eerie atmospheric passages; non-motorik rhythmic vamps; shredding; incessant repetition.
For example: Wooden Shjips, Psychic Ills, White Hills, Moon Duo, Eternal Tapestry.
Denver-bred contempo-kraut cosmonauts Woodsman, balanced on the ledge between these two schools, defy efforts at taxonomy. After previous releases with Mexican Summer, Lefse, and Fire Talk, the band prepares their self-titled full-length LP to see the light of day after the new year. “Healthy Life,” our first preview cut, kicks off with an eminent Neu! School rhythm section groove that grounds the track’s first half under a haze of chordal guitar phrases. By the time the extra toms kick in and the drifting layers of synth squelch/guitar drone accumulate around the edges of the session, we’re speeding towards a deep Amon Düül School climax — but with enough restraint left in the leads to keep us from spinning too far off into the void.
New LP by Woodsman lands on February 14 via Fire Talk.