In electronic music, Roman Flügel is synonymous with a style that is complex and intricate, but still retains a simplicity without encroaching on functionality. His 2014 album, Happiness is Happening, was a case in point and was followed up by another masterpiece this February, in Sliced Africa EP. Now, as Flugel releases Monday Brain on Hypercolour, the question has to be asked: has he bettered himself once more?
The short answer is yes, but not in the manner you might expect, for Monday Brain does not contain any tracks that were produced with the dancefloor solely in mind. If you’re looking for an EP full of peak time hits to trump ‘Sliced Africa’, you’ll be disappointed. But that would be missing the artistry that lies within.
Each track is perfectly accessible for home listening and only by doing so can you fully appreciate their complexity; from the cascading synth lines of ‘Picnic For Players’ to the syncopated hi-hats of ‘Vegetarian Leather Jackets’. Taken into a club setting and the tracks that seemed more serene take on a dual personality. ‘Make It Happen’ becomes a cut that could only make sense played at peak time to a rapturous response. One darker number, ‘Church of Dork’ gains the potential to change the pace of a set with its splashy, Detroit percussion and sinister bassline.
Lead track, ‘Teenage Engineering’, is the standout for us and one we’re delighted to premiere. Soothing piano overlays a shuffling drum pattern before the track takes a sharp turn towards the euphoric, with the slow introduction of an ominous, siren-like synth line. Then, like a passing ambulance, the alarm is soon replaced by the return of a rolling bass line and calming keys. Undulating and hypnotic, the track’s multiple phases transports you straight to a hazy, early morning set whatever time or place you find yourself listening.
The real strengths of Monday Brain is its diversity, and while each track sounds like a movement in a greater symphony, each and can be judged on its own accord and still come out as a triumph.
Monday Brain is available to pre-order now via Hypercolour, and will be available in full on 23rd October.