Berlin- munich based trio Saroos read a lot of sci-fi, so it should come as little surprise that the music they make sounds downright otherworldly. Florian Zimmer (Iso68, Jersey), Christoph Brandner (Lali Puna, Console) and Max Punktezahl (the Notwist, Contriva) are as much scientists as they are composers and instrumentalists – they’re obsessed with sound as particles in motion, and devoted to creating stylistic collisions that pop as much as they probe.
The group’s 2006 self-titled debut was released quietly by the Notwist’s Alien Transistor label in 2006, but the break-steeped post-rock and electronica contained therein showcased Zimmer and Brandner’s ear for Two Lone Swordsmen-meets-Slint experimentation. Anticon’s Alias even stopped by for a collaboration, on the song “During this Course,” and Punktezahl ended up joining when Saroos hit the road with his better-known band.
Knowledge both arcane and empirical suggests power in threes, so it makes sense that the band has hit its stride since. In 2009, Saroos covered post-punk legend Graeme Jefferies for Morr Music’s Not Given Lightly compilation, a tribute to the obscure but excellent ’80s New Zealand alt-rock scene. Later that year, they got to work on a stunning second album, See Me Not, which finds cLOUDDEAD’s Odd Nosdam in the role of producer and unofficial fourth member.
But what does Saroos sound like? Exotica gone even wilder – abstract and shadowy. Or dub in reverse, where solid grooves emerge from skronk and noise. Like beats coated in dust, pushed through space by an astral zephyr. Or a huge wall of sound, frayed at both ends, whose core is a woven mass of impenetrable sonic particulate. And still, the effect isn’t one of claustrophobia. The Saroos sound is, as is its makers’ wont, something to be explored, something to get lost in.
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