Sounds like: Cruising the autobahn at 100 mph while Robert Fripp gets weird in the backseat with a drum machine.
For fans of: Can, Neu!, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Mogwai.
Why you care: The term “krautrock” has absolutely nothing to do with sauerkraut, but regardless, the two share one similarity, in that they’re both acquired tastes. Known mostly for it’s droning, elongated structures and sequenced robotic beats, krautrock has not changed much since David Bowie and Brian Eno defected to Berlin in the ’70s after the latter fell in love with the electro-lite efficiency referred to as the “motorik” sound. Enter Motrik, Portland’s response to paint-by-numbers instrumental rock. With metronomic beats, undulating synths and a reference to early ’80s post-punk in its “bass-as-lead” setup, there’s nothing clandestine about the group’s übergruven roots. The real left turn comes after the requisite atonal buildups. “The beautiful thing about atonality,” says Motrik keyboardist Dave Fulton, “is that beautiful note that comes after all of the droning. It’s the atonality that helps you appreciate how beautiful that one note that pulls you out of it really is.” Fulton, 52, met former Wow & Flutter guitarist Cord Amato as a video engineer for OPB. They soon began concocting a hybrid of mechanical krautrock rhythms with classic-rock flourishes, a la King Crimson and Pink Floyd. The result is best displayed on “Wolfgang,” a slow-burning, two-part suite of emotive buildups eventually swallowed whole by an airtight rhythm sequence that would sound great on a treadmill. Getting there is a journey—the song is almost nine minutes long—but instant gratification is not what your average krautrock fan is in search of. “You’d have to be very patient to get it,” Fulton says. “But the best things I’ve heard in my life were the things I did not get the first time around. You’d have to have big ears, as our audience typically does.”
SEE IT: Motrik plays Rotture, 315 SE 3rd Ave., with Hedersleben and Tonen, on Friday, April 11. 9 pm. $8. 21+