One of many wondrous things about music is that from time to time and quite out of the blue comes a release that perfectly fits every want and instinct within one’s personal appetite, an encounter that truly stokes the fire in the musical heart and imagination. Impossible Space is such a spark of temptation. It is the debut album from German post punks Ropes Of Night, a record that bridged old passions with new and fresh pleasures whilst casting its own unique captivation.
Cologne based, Ropes Of Night consists of Tom (bass/vocals), Manu (drums), Martin (guitar), and Ralph (guitar/synth/backing vocals) with Impossible Space another magnet of temptation born within the isolation of the pandemic. As the imposing breath of shadows and the infectious tempting of light persistently align their emotive implications across a record which as suggested merges eighties drawn familiarity with new individuality; the quartet forge new emotional dilemmas from the dark side of post punk and the infectious melancholic romance of Dark Wave. Even so, it is a proposal which throughout the album still ignites the spirit, almost like hope and despair agreeing on a mutual front for the re-energising of the heart.
That familiarity we mentioned references a feel rather than specific artist though there is no denying there is a definite emotional feel and breath of The Sound to Impossible Space at times and occasionally bands like Modern English and The Danse Society seem a ripple from the past in its catchier exploits. This, from the moment opener Another Closing Door slipped under the skin brought an instant accessibility, an old friend essence which track and band instantly exploited with their own distinct prowess. The song rises up around the senses and a sample before, not for the last time on the release, rhythms took a firm grip of an instinctive want, the compelling lure of bass at its core. Synth and guitar as swiftly weave their melodic web upon the song’s crepuscular air, a shadow explored by the words and potent tones of Tom. That inherent catchiness the band springs soaks it all, its persuasion urgent and lively even in the song’s controlled proposal.
There is a Dead Register hue to the band’s music too, an emotive depth that fuels new invention which in turn reaps the strength of that familiarity and provides The Whispers, which follows, with a formidable presence. It is a muscular, almost threatening punk nurtured incitement which immediately immerses the senses, riffs a firm harassment even as grooves and sonic wires entwine ears with infectious lures. Perpetually agile in its moves and unpredictable in its trespass, the song soon sowed its seeds of addiction; germs which continued being laid as Perfect Prison calmly but dextrously strolled along a path of emotive reflection to cement an already keen captivation.
From hooks to melodic threading, rapacious beats to ever habit-forming basslines, the album bled temptation within its emotion and heart forged atmospheres, next up Vanishing epitomising that fertility within songwriting and sound. It is a track which rhythmically almost speeds through ears but never rushes or breaks the contemplative glaze of sound they drive while The Drowning Lesson is a croon of dejection and melancholy which caresses the senses and hugs intimate thoughts within its own anguish. Even so, it is a vibrantly catchy track at times within its brooding musing and quite haunting.
Through the mesmeric, occasionally senses searing and rhythmically hypnotic What’s Done Is Done and Lunacy By Which We Kneel with its untamed rock ‘n’ roll, band and album only tightened their grip, both tracks riveting and irresistibly unique in the landscape of Impossible Space while Strange Moons with almost predatory motion immersed ears and thoughts in the dark side of dilemma and temptation.
With If Death Was A Color providing a final atmospherically poignant and physically compelling moment, Impossible Space left ears basking in fulfilment and instantly greedy to get lost in the temptation and virtuosity of Rope Of Night once again. Everything about their debut had us feasting and though the record might not feed all your personal needs as it did ours it will offer a landscape of imagination and infection to light up the shadows of any day.
Impossible Space is out now through Golden Antenna Records; available @ https://ropesofnight.bandcamp.com
Pete RingMaster 16/09/2021
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