Belgrado return after a seven-year absence with their fourth full-length, and reinvention is in the air…
‘Why? Why replace coldly austere guitars and fluid jazz-inflected drums with programming and synths?’ raged my inner-luddite. ‘No good can come of such meddling’. Yet my inner-luddite was utterly wrong – Belgrado’s transformation is a triumph. The band’s trademark melancholy is maintained by the glacial synths and the ethereal Polish-language vocals that glide with such delicate power, an aural manifestation of the striking modernist cover art. As you immerse yourself in repeated listens, layers of subtle complexity gradually reveal themselves more clearly – the intricate bass-work, the infectious melodic flourishes, and skilfully crafted song structures.
Vocalist Patrycja and new bassist Louis have in recent years been exploring electronic post-punk in the guise of Fatamorgana. This LP sees them contribute this experience to create an intriguing hybrid – Belgrado electronically reimagined yes, but still undeniably Belgrado.
Seven long years have passed since Barcelona beauties Belgrado last bestowed a full length upon the citizens of Planet Earth, but the wait is over, and ‘Intra Apogeum’ is here to make your life worth living again.
With a new bassist in tow, a couple of fresh-out-the-box synths, and drummer Jonathan Sirit switching from kit-bashing to button-pushing, you might be forgiven for thinking your favourite post-punkers have gone cuckoo and lost it. But fear not – more than a decade in the game and Belgrado still know what they are doing. Eight sleek-n-chic numbers that simultaneously burn white hot and ice cold. As with their previous record ‘Obraz’, Belgrado have taken the Xmal Banshees template and bled out in all directions, stylishly blending a classic post-punk intuition with elements of disco, dub and psychedelia, now with added textures of electronic lushness.
Recorded in both Barcelona and singer Patrcyja Proniewska’s native Warsaw, ‘Intra Apogeum’ is testament to a band committed to pushing forward and investigating the new whilst clearly demonstrating they know who they are. Belgrado is back – viva Belgrado!
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