Review: Morlock ‘The Outcasts’

This, the second release from Morlock and Andrew Prestidge (synthesist and drummer) (Zoltan, Warning, 40 Watt Sun, The Osiris Club) and it strikes me when listening to it as an extremely fresh and interesting record full of kosmiche musik (that’s German cosmic music to you, thereby avoiding that other overused term from the seventies which you are all familiar with and is quite derogatory which I refuse to mention!) and seventies prog.

Morlock 'The Outcasts'

Dipping into the best bits of the past but also presenting it as something that sounds like it comes from the future is not an easy thing to achieve. Nods to Michael Rother (Neu!) and even Jean-Michel Jarre, are evident, but as we venture deeper into this release, it presents itself as quite multifaceted.

Let’s throw a few genres at it and get that out of the way early on, we have a recipe of post-punk, electro-pop, Moog drones, and Italian prog soundtracks. Tangerine Dream, even early Genesis (The Prodigal) jumps out of the speakers reminding you how varied music was in the seventies with variety at the fore. It’s all there in the mix certainly but presented in a unique fashion and with heart.

This is not mood music, it presents itself as upbeat, positive, and a good aural medicine for lethargy. Prestidge’s passion for electronic music is evident here with the use of those great sounding polyphonic synths used readily in the late seventies via bands like Tubeway Army but also hints of the BBC Radio Workshop or John Carpenter experimentation too.

upbeat, positive, and a good aural medicine for lethargy…

However, there are plenty of guitars on here courtesy of Roland Scriver (Serpent Venom, 40 Watt Sun) and Chris Fullard, but wisely few vocals. This is long-distance autobahn or motorway driving music spread over seven epic tunes with a distinctive European bent to each one. Recorded at London’s Holy Mountain Studios in the spring of 2021 and mixed in Switzerland by Misha Hering, who also co-wrote some of the material and plays additional synths.

The initial impetus to attempt this project came from Prestidge’s desire to create an imaginary graphic novel and put it to sound. Personally, I feel this has been achieved admirably over the thirty minutes of varied tunes presented. An experimental album which will interest fans of any of the above genres and I personally reckon it deserves your attention.

Label: Cineploit Recordings
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Scribed by: Tim Keppie