Week in Pop: ETA, Mommy Long Legs, Natural Velvet

Sjimon Gompers

The wonderful, radical & righteous rise of Seattle's Mommy Long Legs; photographed by Sam Leung at Seattle’s High Dive.

Metro Riders

Metro Riders’ Henrik Stelzer; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Metro Riders is Stockholm’s Henrik Stelzer who has been recording electronic-cinema-odysseys for the ear collected together on the forthcoming Europe By Night album available May 19 through Possible Motive. Like your favorite vintage German experimental electro-pop pioneers (think Kluster, Harmonia, NEU!, etc), well appointed usage of synth textures & arrangements make for soundscapes that transport the mind to new settings & surroundings that seem straight of your cult favorites or all the foreign films you’ve never seen (not to mention all the ones that have yet to be made).

Offering up a listen to “Tension On the Train”, Henrik’s Metro Riders outfit catches a lift on a public tram that becomes a tense & heated affair. Synths & digital drum impulses mark the arrangement that brings to mind sharing a car with a host of henchman & various goons with arms-folded that makes every beat & bar feel like a sequence of emotionally charged moments. Those keys & percussion parts take the mood to the very top & then back to the bottom where the listener feels as if they are in that decisive situation of knowing no what to do next whilst flanked by an assembly of dangerous liaisons. “Tension On the Train” would make for a perfect chase sequence where the protagonist attempts to shake a gang of mysterious pursuers that jumps from car-to-car & ends up in either a fight sequence in the caboose, engine quarters, or a dramatic showdown on the treacherous train-top (as seen in all the iconic film finales).

Henrik Stelzer of Metro Riders penned the following exclusive reflective manifesto/introduction about the nocturnal & environmental influences that would inform the motorik/ambient work Europe by Night:

Europe By Night could very much be a reference to a forgotten European exploitation flick but it could also be an idea of the present, to our society. “Tension On The Train”, the second track on the album, could be the theme for the hours spent commuting in rush hour or the sound in your ears when trying to find yourself home on the last train just hours before dawn. There are aspects to be found on Europe By Night in the cinematic world, but those who are looking for the blueprints would possibly find them under smeared streetlights, concrete towers, and starless skies.

Metro Riders Europe By Night pursues a nocturnal, mantric designs, fogged rhythms and bleached neon synths pulsing blankly across stark cityscapes. A mood of futurist lament reigns, muted metronomes are threading the path—an illusion of movement simultaneously despondent and transcendent.

The melodic gauze and faded fidelity of Stelzer’s Europe By Night< gives it a ghostly, interstitial quality, somewhere between elegy and prophecy. This is a music of restlessness and reverie, of motion masquerading as meaning, lost in the lonely infinities of life before dawn.

Metro Riders’ Europe By Night will be available May 19 from Possible Motive.

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