Kooba Tercu are, quite simply, incredibly fun to listen to. On their new album Proto Tekno, the band blend elements of noise rock and psychedelia with a wonderfully free-flowing energy that feels immediately emotionally rejuvenating.
It’s important to note — while cathartically freeing flippancy figures prominently on Proto Tekno, the band’s music has a whole lot of meat to it, in the sense that the melodies and intertwining layers of instrumentation deliver a truly richly all-encompassing experience via the cohesive (even if psychedelically swirling) songwriting. Rather than feel like it’s gone in an instant, the unique experience that the band have captured on their latest album lasts — and it lingers to the point of driving plenty of relistens right from the get-go, because there’s little if anything that sounds exactly like this latest album.
Proto Tekno is the band’s third full-length album, and it was apparently recorded during the same ten-day studio period in which their second album — 2019’s Kharrüb — was captured. Sonically speaking, Proto Tekno features a lot of standout moments, from the jangly basslines of “Cemento Mori” to the jarring cacophony of groove and electronica on “Filter Feeder.” By the sultry rhythms of the album’s closing track, called “Puppy Pile,” the band sound like they’ve settled into performing the background music for some ominously otherworldly beach hideaway.
Although there is singing on the album, that element frequently fades away while the instrumentation stands on its own. “Qasan,” for instance, features repeating gallops of intensely groovy rhythm that repeat like the build of a musical hypnosis session.
The band have explained (as referenced on the album’s Bandcamp page) that they imagine their perspective as “creating a vision of short-term future and trying to find humanity’s place in that world,” and this paradigm makes a lot of sense because the definitely rocking but definitively off-kilter rhythms across Proto Tekno deliver an element of human energy that really feels like it defines the whole album in a very organic fashion. The album feels like escapism, but it’s a well-earned, richly immersive escapism thanks to the confident-sounding, forward power of the music. Proto Tekno feels like a soundtrack to navigating the increasingly digitized world, chaos and all — and maybe finding some promisingly bright neon flashes of light on the other side. There’s still a place for “humanity,” in a sense, and it’s with sounds like this record.
Check out the music below! It’s out via Rocket Recordings. The band members are currently based in Athens, Crete, and London, apparently.