29 May 2022

THE CITRADELS – Contactor (2022, LP/Digital/Bandcamp Self-Released)




Label: Self-Released

Format: LP, Album, Limited Edition, 500 copies (Scheduled for release later this year)

Release Date: 27 May 2022

Back in 2018, I did a quite interesting interview with Curtis from The Citradels, Australia’s Best Kept Secret, (you can check the Interview here), and he kind of predisposed their new album by saying We have been writing a heap of demos for our 11th album which is going to be a very electronic and synthesizer-heavy album, sort of Eno/Stereolab vibes if you’re digging?”… So, the time has finally come, and The Citradels have a new album out called “Contactor”, one “different” album that only gives credits to my initial characterization about the band… I called them “Chameleons”! Like this creature, they are changing colors, musical colors in every record they make…

The Press release reads:

“Contactor is set to be the 11th album to be released by the industrious band. Sporadically recorded between lockdowns this album sees the band heavily exploring electronic sounds for the first time. A large proportion of this album was created using an analog modular synthesizer that the band built themselves from scratch. This allowed the band to create new and innovative sonic palettes and was a catalyst in the band exploring new ways of writing and thinking about the arrangement of sound. Taking influence from early electronic pioneers such as Mort Garson and Pierre Henry the album has a sense of spontaneity that can only come from dealing with the unpredictability of homemade electronics and continual fault-finding. These sounds are underpinned by hypnotic drumming that spans from motorik groove to sample influenced rhythms which often serve to hold down the unconventional foundations of the pieces. This album in no way deviates from The Citradels commitment to songwriting with the band taking cues from artists such as Stereolab and Damaged Bug, trying to work analog spontaneity with a melodic pop sensibility. The parameters of using their own hand-built synthesizer challenged the way they approached songwriting and sound composition with the album being heavily influenced by the often erratic output of their newly manufactured instrument”…

So, having in mind all these, let’s have a closer look at the 11 songs which constitute the album “Contactor”… The first song is “To Antares”, with a mellow but proggy start, keys-oriented (OF COURSE), develops a fantastic warm n’ sweet melody while the scenery slowly changes into a soft Shoegaze-y environment, Neo-Psych flirting and definitely Synthesized flavored! “Parturiunt Montes” is built on a slow kind of melancholic beat, the keys emerging a strong nostalgic feeling, a synth-based proggy scenery with lovely and warm vocals. “So Far” is another kind of ‘slow’ song, with hypnotic drumming that is followed by ‘sleepy’ vocals, a serene scenery is created while discreetly a million bubbles are exploding, filling the air with some vintage synthesized Psychness… “Racing Cars” is a dreamy-Pop instrumental with a rather experimental start, under a serene and earthly environment, the Analogue Modular Synthesizer creates a dream-a-like soundscape, reaching the limits of Ambient, ending in a peaceful way… “In Comes The Rain” takes us back to the familiar-by-now Poppy-Shoegaze-y landscape, the homemade electronic machine (!) feels the air with groovy, dreamy, and lovely notes, quite melodic with a cool Psych middle section, resulting in a strong cinemascopic effect! “Effervescent” is a darker tune, a multi-flirting track, pop, shoegaze, neo-psych, with slices of neo-prog, creating a melancholic mood… “All I Wanna Don’t”, is a short dream-a-like hazy pop-a-delic tune with a tremendous proggy feel… “Mono Clip” is a lovely cinema-delic instrumental while “Old Gold” moves to the same cinematic scenery as the previous track with the only difference that this one here has lyrics… “Repeats” is another instrumental with an electronically flavored Ambient scenery while the album comes to an end with the song “Juniper”, the most ‘Brian Eno’ tune in this set of songs, poppy, shoegaze-y with a proggy ambient touch… So, the band put on their favorite ‘Electronic’ suit, and by building instruments and shaping sounds, The Citradels deliver a new sonic experience for all you diggers out there… Chameleon changed once more his color… Contact has been made… On a faraway beach… TimeLord Michalis



1 To Antares 3:27
2 Parturiunt Montes 2:59
3 So Far 3:43
4 Racing Cars 5:14
5 In Comes The Rain 3:33
6 Effervescent 3:18
7 All I Wanna Don’t 2:38
8 Mono Clip 2:01
9 Old God 2:06
10 Repeats 2:41
11 Juniper 3:28



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