PRESALE 12/9 (student)
TICKETS AT THE DOORS 15/13 (student)
Founded in 2015, Alois are due to release their highly anticipated third record “Night Vision” on Red Brick Records in 2023. Hailing from Zurich, Switzerland, the band follow up on their electronica- heavy prequel “Azul”, with a view to capturing more of an organic band sound: drawn-out jams and live- band vibes are entangled into the precise mechanics of pop music and the band display a strong commitment to maximising the technical possibilities of state-of-the-art studio production. On first listen the music conveys a strong sense of longing for Balearic waters and Majorcan sunsets but it also brings to mind the double-edged unsettling discomfort stirred up by the fogginess of dystopian cityscapes. The bone structures of the songs were drawn up by vocalist and guitarist Martin Schenker during a prolonged stay on the island of Mallorca. These feel closer to dance music - with build-ups, drops, peaks, and switch-ups - than the flourishes of traditional pop song-writing. Somewhat reminiscent of Seattle-based Beach House, Alois take you on a sonic round trip with unspecified destinations. It’s retro and futuristic all at once; you never rest assured where your journey might end up. Schenker, who writes the bulk of the material, attributes Alois’ music to what he refers to as “Psychedelic Dance-Pop”. There’s definitely shades of House Music and 70ies-Funk à la Headhunters with a touch of Caribou for good measure on the plate. While the instrumental album opener “Night Rambler” washes over you like a warm morning shower, engulfing your ears with atmospheric sonics and a downtempo guitar rhythm hinting at Bossa-Nova, track two “Checkmate” evokes the pulsing, grooving drive of the likes of Daft Punk. According to Schenker, the song lyrics deal with losing sight of the essential in conflicts and its analogy to the checkmate situation in a game of chess. While the lockdown-inspired “Ghost Town” could easily have continued as an up-tempo version of The Meters’ “Cissy Strut” after the first bit of the guitar riff, the track suddenly bends off and in a split second exposes a terrific funk original with interlocking guitars, drums and arpeggiated synth patterns stitching a silvery thread through the sonics. “Veranda”, written at 3am besides a Mallorca pool, initially evokes Aim’s Cold Water Music classic “No time to waste” - definitely one for the car! A steady, incessant quarter-note synth drives the song, with high pitch guitar single lines responding to filtered reverse vocal pads and crisp, beautifully haptic percussion layers. Ultimately, “Night Vision” is underpinned by an undeniable psychedelic edge, with an array of spacious sounds floating high above wonderfully grooving danceable disco pop tracks. Trés cool!