(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Radiate! (2012), 6/10
Remember I Was Carbon Dioxide (2014), 5/10
Phantom Of Liberty (2016), 6/10
Emotional Detox (2018), 5/10
Prosthuman (2021), 4/10

German trio Camera (guitarist Franz Bargmann, keyboardist Timm Brockmann and drummer Michael Drummer) wed post-rock sensibility with a revival of German prog-rock of the 1970s on Radiate! (Bureau B, 2012), a set of improvised instrumental jams that mostly borrow Neu's motorik rhythm, notably in the massive E-Go (with sideral guitar a` la Helios Creed) and Ausland (with atmospheric guitar and Suicide-like keyboards). There are also nods to Tangerine Dream's cosmic music in the eleven-minute Lynch (albeit a more neurotic and abrasive version of it) and to doom-metal (Soldat). However much of the rest feels more amateurish than derivative.

They lost the guitarist for Remember I Was Carbon Dioxide (2014), which is overall a more trivial affair. Parhelion is an attempt at expanding into psychedelic rock. The horror ambience of Ozymandias is the standout, whereas the Neu-inspired dances tend to disappoint (Trophaee is the notably exception).

Phantom Of Liberty (2016), produced by Steffen Kahles who also replaced Brockmann on keyboards, is a transition album, torn between the original Neu-rock (Affenfaust) and a more soulful kind of electronic boogie (Froelichkeit), that ironically ends up sounding like ZZ Top (Tjamahal). Best is Nevernine, where they succumb to uncontrolled industrial neurosis, like a prog-rock version of Ministry.

Meanwhile, Brockmann and Franz Bargmann released the duo album Licht (2017).

Brockmann rejoined Camera for Emotional Detox (2018), which also featured guitarist Michel Collet and bassist Andreas Miranda besides Kahles (keyboards) and Drummer (drums). The album marked a significant change of style. Camera embraces the steady beat and swirling synth of disco-music in Gizmo and the hard-rock edge in Himmelhilf At best they coin in Pacific One a hybrid of synth-pop and guitar-based instrumentals of the 1960s (the Ventures, the Shadows). But the quintet wastes its talent in the ethereal new-age muzak of the twelve-minute Patrouille and in several radio-friendly ditties.

Drummer reformed Camera as a trio with Tim Schroeder on synthesizer and Alex Kozmidi on guitar for Prosthuman (2021), an odd varied collection of songs that include their first vocal attempts (Schmwarf), some danceable numbers, some hints at Devo-esque new wave rock, and some atmospheric pieces that, at best, recall the Raybeats (A2).

(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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