If PLVS VLTRA was an “uncomfortably catchy” excursion for John Elliott’s Spectrum Spools label, then consider the Brooklyn-based synth trio FORMA a casual stroll down a familiar sidewalk, on a cool fall evening, in… I don’t know, let’s say, Germany, the birthplace of kosmische musik.
FORMA’s self-titled full-length debut (TMT Review), released last year, has all of the components that one might expect of an album promoted by an Emeralds member; specifically, there’s the prominent and exploratory use of analog synthesizers, complemented by, as a press release puts it, a “torrent of live drum machine programming.” It’s all very reminiscent of the synth escapades put forth during the late 70s and early 80s. The album cover for FORMA even reminds me of the one for Brian Eno’s Ambient 4: On Land. Okay, so they’re not that similar, but let’s not pretend that artists just coincidentally choose desert landscapes as their album covers. Clearly, there’s some kind of supernatural force connecting the two albums.
What about album art depicting lava flows? FORMA’s newest album OFF/ON, due out November 12, reportedly displays a “darker” and more “aggressive” musical approach on the part of the trio. At the risk of overwhelming you with geological metaphors, let’s just leave it at that. Preorder the album here.