In Technicolor opens with a phrase of chords that is a kick back to Depeche Mode’s 80’s, and so the ride begins through a collection of synths sounds that bounce from a decade to another, from the 70s to the 90s, most of all. This is a tour to the first times of europop, and a reinterpretation of it based in machines and the new ideas of what is right.
I just read a tweet by Alejandro Jodorowsky that says “We live in a world where things changed without changing: a mysterious sound, when you imagined what produced it, it makes it another thing.” I don’t think he was thinking about electronic music when he wrote it, but I was when I read it, and it made total sense to me in relation with Coma’s In Technicolor.
On one hand the idea that though the present is an evolved past, still we are who we are, and pop is pop whatever prefix or adjective you ad to it and whenever you place it. I like pop, by the way, I’m not one of those hipsters that hate pop. And In Technicolor makes me think Coma is trying to evolve what they know of synth and europop.
When I listen to In Technicolor I am taken to so many memories of old sounds, not only those by Depeche Mode, but also hundreds of sounds from long ago by known and forgotten bands playing music in underground lost dive bars with people that worshipped alternative graphic arts, liked partying, felt like punk rock but couldn’t get into the feeling of riffs, and had a somehow gothic romantic soul hidden in them. It does not surprise me to know that Coma is the next cool thing happening in Cologne’s electronic scene. They are probably part of a new wave of oxygen for the new and evolved dive clubs. I would actually like a lot to see them play live.
In Technicolor contains twelve tracks that flow well from one to the next one. Sounds move in an specific area, keeping the tones and textures in a control zone that’s pretty smooth. There is a continuous velvetish thread that goes all along the album in one tone that stays in the base like a canvas for each track, the same tone all over the album, mono…tonous, a flat vibe that though there are others moving around is too strong to forget and some times gets heavy to resist, then is when I feel nothing, and though I am listening to music I disconnect from feelings and memories, and I don’t really enjoy that. However among those empty episodes, also there are moments when sounds wake up feelings and memories again. Those are the hits of In Technicolor.
When I space in this empty episodes I am aware that this is just my perception, and that there are many others that don’t feel like me. Thankfully we all have different keys to turn us on. But because I feel these empty episodes happening more than once during In Technicolor is that I can’t establish a total connection with Coma. I see the display of techniques, the right composition, the correct management of the tension, the sporadic rays of colors, which I like, but the temperature is cold for my heart to fall for this.
It’s like the loop in “maximal MINIMAL,” it’s well built, I’ve dived in it several times already, the viscose bubbling waves, the elliptical synth with a little doppler, the keys creating some kind of quadraphonic space, the soft bouncing cymbal, the clapping woods creating texture, they are all good elements to play with, still I don’t get caught by it. I imagine this is a good track to play while having a drink at a mellow bar with friends, but it’s not the first one I’d chose to trip the sky in Atacama desert, and my dreams are about playing there my favorite tunes wild loud.
The strongest attachments I’ve developed with In Technicolor are with its singles “My Orbit” and “Hooray”, the memories of old new wave, and euro pop tunes. “Les Dilettantes” is an interesting choice, “#” could be a good addition to many kinds of soundtracks. However In Technicolor has a very mellow personality, that I can’t but read as a lack of character because I expect music to have more to say, though I do understand the connection with the sounds of synths and I hear the conversation about the 80s in Europe.
At last there is the second part of Jodorowsky’s tweet ” …a mysterious sound, when you imagined what produced it, it makes it another thing.” This part is important, because I believe Coma could elaborate and grow the statement they showed in “My Orbit” and “Hooray.”
In Technicolor will be available on Kompakt from April 29th.