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Berlin- munich based trio Saroos read a lot of sci-fi, so it should come as little surprise that the
music they make sounds downright otherworldly. Florian Zimmer (Iso68, Jersey), Christoph
Brandner (Lali Puna, Console) and Max Punktezahl (the Notwist, Contriva) are as much scientists
as they are composers and instrumentalists — they’re obsessed with sound as particles in motion,
and devoted to creating stylistic collisions that pop as much as they probe.
The group’s 2006 self-titled debut was released quietly by the Notwist’s Alien Transistor label in
2006, but the break-steeped post-rock and electronica contained therein showcased Zimmer and
Brandner’s ear for Two Lone Swordsmen-meets-Slint experimentation. Anticon’s Alias even
stopped by for a collaboration, on the song “During this Course,” and Punktezahl ended up joining
when Saroos hit the road with his better-known band.
Knowledge both arcane and empirical suggests power in threes, so it makes sense that the band has
hit its stride since. In 2009, Saroos covered post-punk legend Graeme Jefferies for Morr Music’s
Not Given Lightly compilation, a tribute to the obscure but excellent ’80s New Zealand alt-rock
scene. Later that year, they got to work on a stunning second album, See Me Not, which finds
cLOUDDEAD’s Odd Nosdam in the role of producer and unofficial fourth member.
But what does Saroos sound like? Exotica gone even wilder — abstract and shadowy. Or dub in
reverse, where solid grooves emerge from skronk and noise. Like beats coated in dust, pushed
through space by an astral zephyr. Or a huge wall of sound, frayed at both ends, whose core is a
woven mass of impenetrable sonic particulate. And still, the effect isn’t one of claustrophobia. The
Saroos sound is, as is its makers’ wont, something to be explored, something to get lost in.