Fontanelle – Style Drift

Style Drift

Another new Krany release that is shying away from the traditional darker ambient material and shifting more towards electronica. On Style Drift, the band’s second full-length, Fontanelle combines the best elements of instrumental improvisation along with computer-aided arrangement. The band is somewhat unique in that they combine traditional instruments such as guitars and drums along with keyboards to produce music that has catchy melodies yet a distinctive funk and groove. Style Drift contains seven tracks and clocks in at around 41 minutes.
“Interstices” develops a bit slowly, utilizing tremolo guitars and a funky almost church sounding organ. A definitive groove is put into place although the tempo is slow; it’s a good tune to kick back to and just mellow out. “Just Go, Crazy” is similar in feel but adds some really nice jazzy drumming courtesy of Mat Morgan. “Scissure” hits the listener next with electronics that sound very watery and oceanic. The tempo again remains slow and builds only gradually throughout the song. Synth and piano lines dabble about, meandering around and trying to find a groove. Everything eventually kicks in to form a memorable and catchy electronic jam. “James Going,” is the more ambient tune on the record with various blips and beeps on top of a synthetic bass line. The song “Style Drift” comes on next, sounding intentionally cheesy with synthetic handclapping and church-like organ; jazz drums follow in and sound vaguely reminiscent of early Tortoise. “Red Light, Green Light” is my favorite track on the record with all forces flowing freely into a faster tempo. The piece is overly melodic with catchy organs, keyboards, and a super funky bassline that just won’t quit. The piece showcases Morgan’s intricate jazz drumming as well. “Monday Morning” finishes up the disc with lots of ambient blips and beeps on top of some well done cymbal based jazzy drumming.
All in all, Fontanelle makes a pretty interesting record but one that’s not overly compelling. The group has the right elements but never really finds memorable parts to make effective use of them. This is indeed due to their heavily influenced jazz component. I’m personally more of a fan of the more melancholy electronica (i.e. Wauvenfold, Boards of Canada). But what I will say is that the band is quite technically skilled. If you’re heavily into both free jazz and electronica, than this record is probably already on your shelf.