Catalogue Nr. mind189
Release Date: 2011-10-28
available as Download and CD
Acretongue is the first electronic project we know of from South Africa and despite the associations one might have with its country of origin, "Strange Cargo" is bursting with perfection, starting with the incredible cover art and extending to the dark, hypnotic and nonetheless warmly enveloping music.
Hailing from a musical no-man's-land between mind.in.a.box and haujobb, Acretongue have a distinct style all their own, although their expensive, complex electronics may remind electro connoisseurs of bygone days and bands like Trauma, Violet Arcana, Clock DVA, Chris & Cosey and This Digital Ocean. While still commonplace in techno, ethereal melodies like this are sadly difficult to find these days on electro-industrial record. Acretongue's complex, slightly melancholy brand of electro, free of heavy percussion but graced with hypnotic, dark romantic vocals, marks a welcome return to a nearly forgotten sound.
Thematically and stylistically, Acretongue (a name borrowed by solo artists Nico J. from a Terry Pratchet story) explores individuality; those inexplicable parts of us that make us individuals, that drive us both to irrational acts but also inspire us to great new heights. This philosophy is reflected not only in the album artwork but also in the sound, creating an unusually haunting album with exceptional sound design, a welcome new face on the electro and synthpop landscape. Nico J. has spent over four years putting the finishing touches on his "Strange Cargo", but the wait has been worth it: an electro highlight of the year!
|2.||Flowers In The Attic|
|4.||These Soft Machines|
"'Strange Cargo' has become what I hoped it to be the counterpoint to dance floor-addicted music and proof that on the other side of the spectrum there's plenty of chances to create a diverse album putting moods into the centre. Here's hoping all the hard work Nico's put into making this will pay-off. Time will tell since the album's just been released. For me it was worth waiting 4 years. 9/10 points"
- Reflections Of Darkness
"Fragile as glass, yet complex and stable as stonework."
-Kai Reinbold, Sonic Seducer
"9/10 points. 'Strange Cargo' is a beautiful, warm and atmospheric work, combining unusual sounds with classical elements of electronic music."
- Orkus Musikmagazin
"An exciting new discovery for every fan of electronic music whose horizon extends beyond lyrical platitudes and glow stick techno. 'Strange Cargo' is an extremely complex album that offers new dimensions with each new listening, insuring itself a long half-life. If music like Seabound or Edge Of Dawn appeals to you, you need this album."
"The vocals are half spoken half-sung (which is another link to Mind.In.A.Box), which is fitting to very evasive electronics. The tempo remains rather slow-like, which here again is a perfect match with the astral sound impact (reminding to Haujobb). The songs are pretty dreamy-like and yet most of the sounds are pretty cold-like. Acretongue is a very good surprise and once again a typical band for Dependent."
"Acretongue takes us on an eleven-track journey through aesthetic, somber, yet warm and sensitive soundscapes. Extremely professional and highly creative, this is a record which has been perfectly planned and executed."
"CD of the Month. 'Strange Cargo' stands for melody, complexity and above all an indescribably beautiful atmosphere that is second to none. What a debut album! Acretongue is a name to watch from here on out, no doubt. For fans of sophisticated music in the vein of Haujobb, Seabound, Trauma and Mind.In.A.Box, this is an absolute must-have! Highlight!"
"South Africa? From where you might least expect it comes one of most intelligent and exciting electro acts of 2011. Dense atmospheres and complex sounds that immediately stand out from the standard scene fare. Absolutely worth a listen."
- Torsten Schäfer, Sonic Seducer
"Big things are no doubt in store for this man and his brilliant works, the return of intricate electro with an intelligent basis has a new outlet. Along with others such as Index AI, THD, Pail and Individual Totem, Acretongue stand in the vanguard of what is at last going to breathe some life into a style and scene which has been stagnant for too long. I've played this album up against all the greats and like them, it holds it's own with a feel that is like no other. Even on a rain drenched night with the light bleeding into the gutters there is an emotional core which cannot be extinguished. Strange Cargo is that core. 9/10 points"
- Brutal Resonance
"It's made really cool, rich in detail, and harmony, and I have no doubt that it comes from the heart. 9/10 points."
- Machinist Music
"Nico has managed to create one of this year’s genuine sounding highlights. His fusion of uniquely arranged musical structures and storytelling gives us an album that layers together two of those important aspects. With its ten tracks of solid electronic music, Strange Cargo is an album that definitely shouldn’t be overlooked if one is seeking to find a more mature listening experience."
- MYC After Dusk
"The atmosphere and the beautiful soundscapes that Acretongue deliver is just so fascinating to listen to. It’s fresh and I can really say he has brought something unique. Something that is important is to really found a sound of their own and that is something I think he has done. The music is intriguish, with a lot of tensions and emotions. The complex electronics to Nico’s voice is like a red thread through every single track and he have really succeeded on putting a structural and thematic approach on the album. 9/10 points"
- Black Vector
"Ladies and Gentlemen, if it still needs to name a potential candidate for the album-of-the-year-2011 - contest, I'd give my vote to this South-African talent. Nearly 60 minutes of a thrilling Electronica experience and you will never get the impression, to have discovered a single minute of filling stuff. I can hardly remember to have received a debut, leaving so much euphoria and a never-ending smile in my face the more I spin this album. Awesome stuff, this one is a must-have item!"
- Chain D.L.K.