|5.||What Is Paris (w/ Dabrye)|
With its surreal melodies and wayward electronic elements (far from eager to please), Eagles, the third full-length by Berlin duo Bus bursts at the seams with intricately woven and extremely detailed soundscapes. Even though it’s virtually impossible to put any definite genre term to it, it’s a varied collection of tunes that nevertheless works really well together.
As a matter of fact, some of the tracks compiled on Eagles were recorded years ago, and a few of them have even seen a release, but some things take time, and for Tom Thiel and Daniel Meteo this meant putting together album #3 a whopping eight years after the second Bus album Feelin’ Dank came out. Like the duo’s debut effort Middle of the Road (2003), said predecessor pretty much offered a mix of dub, hip-hop and electronica, with additional vocals by MC Soom-T for good pop measure. On Eagles, the vocal parts have disappeared, and we’re left with the purely instrumental oomph and allure of their tracks.
Reuniting after a five-year hiatus, Bus returned to the studio in 2012 to enhance their combined digital production skills with some bold (and meticulously crafted) trial-and-error experiments – for what was originally going to be merely an update to their live-show for Shitparade 2012. Initially, they revisited a couple of older compositions – long intended for release, together with a handful of tracks they’d already published –, reworking and improving them. To achieve this, Daniel Meteo even picked up a guitar, adding spherical layers to tracks like “Westen” (first released in 2002) and the brand-new “Grove”, layers that sound vast and never-ending like infinite horizons. Elsewhere, “Pure Singa” with its warm percussion groove, feels like it’s lingering in the air, and yet the track has incredible depth. “Miami”, in comparison, has almost a big band feel to it – albeit a big band with a keen ear for (current) electronic music. The resulting album has a refreshingly spontaneous-sounding vibe; it runs the gamut of electronic sound, boasting surprising melodies and rhythms at every turn. And even though it’s far from jumping any kind of bandwagon, Eagles nevertheless sounds contemporary, like an album that could only see the light of day in these particular times. In short: it’s an album that words really can’t do justice. This is instrumental music beyond standard terms or categories; words just bounce off this wordless full-length – like water on wax.
Still, one shouldn’t forget about where they came from, what happened before they started Bus in 2002: Tom Thiel had already written (electronic) music history as one half of Sun Electric, whereas Daniel Meteo added a unique position to Berlin’s budding music scene, both with his work as a producer and his label Meteosound. If you feel like digging a little deeper, you will, of course, discover that there’s a lot more to say about these guys.
Let’s put it this way: Eagles sees Bus, now on a purely instrumental journey, finding their way back to the here and now.