Almost exactly a year after PTTRNS’s sudden comeback with a new song Ethics and a subsequent homecoming concert in Cologne in January 2017, the band now return with a first single Armado from their forthcoming album Material und Geschichte (‘Material and history’) due March 30. In retrospect, Ethics’s last two verses – ‘We want to start / but we want to wait here, too’ – seemed to having been programmatic for twelve months of public silence that would follow the group’s first new song for more than three years. However, it now becomes apparent that during 2017 PTTRNS clearly did not go on a break; it is rather that the band spent a long summer in Berlin writing what eventually has become the group’s longest and most experimental record to date.
For this purpose, the band broadened its personal borders by teaming up with Andreas Spechtl of Ja, Panik who produced, recorded and mixed Material und Geschichte. Moreover, guest musicians such as Rabea Erradi (Die Heiterkeit, GOA) and Sonja Deffner contribute prominent saxophone and clarinet play subtly negotiating PTTRNS‘s sophisticated indietronic sound. Armado serves as a testament to that updated sound: First located on an indie dancefloor, the track begins with longing vocals backed up by an iterative, catchy guitar motif. But as soon as the saxophone sets in, the idea of a 3’30’’ minute pop song is deconstructed, time is overcome, and we’re transported into a jazzier environment drinking a glass of whiskey. The atmosphere is dizzy, neither do we can nor want to escape. Armado occupies the power to put your mind in a different place at a different time.
The band themselves describe the record’s first single by adding a political dimension to its character:
Pure theory will help us to assemble a political strategy only if the veil of the presence is lifted by imagining it as the past of a future. “Armado” is our imagination, a jam as the weapon of choice.
Armado heralds PTTRNS’s most ambitious album to date. Once again released on Altin Village & Mine, its sound gladly overcomes the boundaries of classic pop structures as well as traditional genre ascriptions. Still, what we will experience is more than a simple evolution of sound:
You may expect the optimism of the will, elevating and then dwindling again. You may expect our instances of making sense, transformed into a product. You may expect bass and grooves and polyrhythms and repetition, as if the future had changed.
The band’s third full-length album Material und Geschichte is out March 30 on Altin Village & Mine. Apart from seven brand new tracks the record also includes a reworked version of the previously mentioned Ethics, a song first released in December 2016, and now entitled Second Ethics.