Published on Sunday, 16 March 2014 19:15
Album title: Retropia
Release date: 29 January 2014
Label: Progress Productions
01. In Your Eyes
03. The Portal
04. Common Man
05. I Use You
06. Too Much
09. So Close Pt.1
10. So Close Pt.2
11. So Close Pt.3
If the name Cryo associates you to something cold, something that would send shivers down your spine and give you goose bumps, you’ve been getting the right impression. The EBM (electronic body music) duo Cryo saw the light of the day back in 2002, with the idea emerging from its mastermind, Martin Rudefelt, who is to this day the heart and soul of Cryo. But he is not alone, as he joined forces with Torny Gottberg and together the duet has released its 3rd studio album Retropia right in the beginning of 2014.
If EBM stands for a music genre with particular characteristics, “the EBM” on Retropia is so much more. Not just electronic, but electric. Not just “body music” as music, which will make you want to move your body, but music, which will overwhelm you from head to toes. With its slightly psychedelic and trance-like ambient oozing from the songs, this album is simply addictive.
The album opens up with an explosive “In Your Eyes” that reminded me right away of The Matrix soundtrack. Not that is resembles any of the songs on the soundtrack, but the overall futuristic sound could easily accompany the massive action scenes and the slow-motion captures at once. And that’s the deal with Cryo. One song, just one song, can bring your so much dynamics and strike a raw nerve, it’s almost unbelievable. “Believer”, “The Portal”, “I Use You” and artistic “Yesterday” on the other hand, have a great, slightly obscure and hypnotizing ambient. Just close your eyes and feel the music as you listen to it, and it will gently put you in a state of trance. Each in its own, unique way. And that’s not even all that Retropia has to offer. The ballad “Common Man” is a true masterpiece as well. The main melody sounds like an arrhythmic pulse and the dreary and soothing vocals will pierce through your ear-drums right until it reaches your soul. Martin’s vocals shine out on this track, as you can really hear him and his beautiful and profound voice in a combination with the interpretation of the lyrics. Definitely a song you will remember. “Too Much” is another of the jewels, as it emits such seductive energy. To be perfectly frank, that song is sexy as hell. Sexy in an elegant and sophisticated way, of course.
The very essence of Retropia is not revealed till the very end with “So Close Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3”. The holy trinity of the album is minimalistic in its sound, with “Part 1” and “Part 2” reminding a bit of the works of the great Jean Michel Jarre. From “Part 1” to “Part 3” these songs are building up tempo with great precision, and even though they are very different, they blend in together just perfectly.
Pounding bass lines, minimalistic electric guitars, keyboards, programming, mesmerizing vocals and two musicians, dedicated to their idea and that’s it. That’s all it takes Cryo to create a masterpiece. Retropia radiates a wide palette of sounds, imagery, ambient and energy. Truly one of the most versatile acts in the EBM scene, that deserves to be renowned. Whether you’re a fan of darker electronic rhythms or just started to explore the scene, Retropia is an album you need to hear. Over and over again. And you will, because it’s highly addictive: once you hear it, you will want more. Consider yourself warned.
Review written by: Ines