Album Review: Kontroll-Raum - Check in (2021)

Picture Credit: Kontroll-Raum
Photograph: Gerd Wienekamp
Artwork: Stephan Knull


Kontroll-Raum - Check in
Release Date: April 04, 2021
Label: Manikin Records
Format: CD / Digital
Length: 73:07
Genre: Berliner Schule / Electronica
Origin: Berlin, Germany / Schönefeld, Germany / Wesertwolde, Netherlands

Kontroll-Raum (German: "control room") is a new project featured on Berlin's Manikin Records. The trio consisting of Mario Schönwälder, Bas Broekhuis, and Frank Rothe has found themselves in a situation where time and space seemed to shift and halt simultaneously. Unable to meet in person, Schönwälder, Broekhuis, and Rothe worked in three different studios and exchanged audio files until the album was considered ready and Frank Rothe took care of the final mastering.

After the introductory 'Gentlemen, start your engines!' which has a very strong Clockwork Orange vibe to it, the polyrhythmic journey into post-industrial reverie begins. It is a psychedelic journey, Kontroll-Raum musick on their album. And as there are certain parallels to Space Rock in the soundscape, it is easily imaginable that the trio is taking their audience on a cosmic trip.
But as the band name tells us, we are not to experience the journey from the cockpit's or bridge's perspective. Instead, we are in the control room, surrounded by flickering lights, huge engines, steam, and probably a communication device from which we can receive commands from those who have access to windows on this vessel.
Are we blindfolded hence? No, our perception is just different to what we normally do.
Are we aimlessly riding through space? In unknown spheres, there can neither be aim nor aimlessness.

From the start to the check out, Kontroll-Raum have created a wholesome sonic journey. Finest Ambient and Berliner Schule sounds go along with psychedelia of Space Rock, and create a colourful escape towards peaceful spheres far away from our galaxy.

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