Komëit Komëit/Falling Into Place

[Monika; 2000]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: minimal electronic, electro-influenced-idm, synth-pop


Komëit play pristine, crystalline, lo-fi DIY electronic pop perfection. Moody and mysterious, simple and soothing, the group's two albums, Komëit and Falling into Place, are a beacon of light in a sea of musical stagnation. Komëit are a German duo who play melodic, minimal electro pop bearing the indelible imprint of circa-1981 New Order, Kraftwerk, Yaz, The Cure, and others. Coupled with seductive, provocative vocals and a keen song writing sense, Komëit's low-key new wave sensibilities have produced two excellent albums of refreshing music for listeners who appreciate the intricacy of simplicity.

Komëit's 2000 self-titled debut consists of little more than simple analog keyboards, the original drum machine, hushed, subdued vocals, and clean, chorused, single-string electric/acoustic guitar strumming, not unlike Alan Sparhawk's sparse yet melodic guitar work with Low. The often sloppy four-track, low-fi production adds a simplicity to the arrangements that makes one wonder if this record was actually recorded in one take, yet sounded just good enough to master without overdubs.

Falling into Place, Komëit's 2002 sophomore release, trades the old-school new wave drum machines for more glitch-oriented rhythmic patterns and sounds. Musically, it's very much in the same vein as Komëit, replete with alternating male/female vocals from vocalist/songwriters Chris Flor and Julia Kliemann. Stylistically, Falling into Place is quite similar to Komëit's debut, though it contains much cleaner production values, and sounds like the next logical step forward from the group's debut album.

It would be superfluous to give a track-by-track commentary on these pieces, from either album, given the overall homogeneity of the songs. It is more important, however, to emphasize the simplicity, beauty, and sense of peaceful, wistful melancholy that emanates from these songs. Catchy, short, sweet, and addictive, these two records have yet to wear out their welcome over repeated listens. Komëit are an obscure band who deserve to have their voice heard by the discriminating listener. Highly recommended, if you find them.

Komëit:

1. Thanks+No
2. End of Camp
3. Double T
4. Don't Call
5. Acme
6. Instead of You
7. Atomized
8. Two
9. Too Bad
10. Low on Memory
11. Opal City
Falling Into Place:

1. I Can Tell
2. Three Hours
3. Readymades
4. Parade
5. When it Starts
6. Schemes Like These
7. Saturday Night
8. Holler
9. Rearrange
10. It's a Good Thing (You Called)

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