on 31 December 2013
In the last year or two there has been a glut of electronic album with black, white and grey covers; Kerridge, Prurient, Silent Servant, Ron Morelli, Raime, Laurel Halo, The Haxan Cloak, James Holden, Daniel Avery, The Stranger, Rashad Becker, Charles Cohen, Machinedrum, Special Request, The Field, Function, Autechre, Marcel Dettmann, Recondite, Blondes, Andy Stott, Demdike Stare, Juan Atkins & Moritz von Oswald.
Some of these exceeded my expectations (Holden, Prurient, Function), some pretty much lived up to expectations (Machinedrum, Special Request, Blondes, The Haxan Cloak), many I was slightly disappointed by because I thought the artist was capable of more (Laurel Halo, Daniel Avery, The Field, Recondite), and most of the rest were either too boring or too experimental for me. However, a thread running through most of these records is that the music often reflects the colour scheme. Dark, gloomy, depressing, brooding, ominous, heavy, monotone(monochrome), subdued, minimalist, barren soundscapes. My main gripe with Akkord is it just slots into this category neatly and doesn't really stand out from the crowd.
It is more hi-fi and precisely put together than some of the aforementioned albums, it has a well-produced sheen and every drum hit and bass note seems intricately placed, but after listening there is nothing to stick in the mind. There are no surprises on any of the tracks. The sound palette, the employed timbres, the sound effects, all seem tightly regulated to the point of homogeny. It's like a genre exercise in minimalist dubstep with some bass music and techno signifiers thrown in. I can envisage fans of Shackleton and early Burial really liking this album, but for me it is just too lacking in variety and none of the synth timbres are particularly appealing.
However, I don't like putting people off music, so listen to the samples and see if it's more your thing than mine. I'm mainly pointing out that with such a plethora of similarly minded (in this case similarly decorated too) albums released recently, that I don't believe this does anything to distinguish itself.
Some recently released albums that are in the same ball park to Akkord but I found more interesting are Egyptrixx's A/B Till Infinity and Logos' Cold Mission. They also have slightly more colourful artwork (only slightly mind).