Eating Darkness by Roman Flügel
Hitting the heights of melancholy Electronica
More hit than miss, from a career spanning four separate decades, the German producer Roman Flügel has experimented with all sorts of electronic music, from the Minimal Techno of his 2006 Christopher Dell on their Superstructure LP to the upbeat and melodic channel of his proper breakthrough in 2011, Fatty Folders (on Dial) to 2018's Downtempo/Ambient affair Themes I-XIII. So while he's a man who doesn't rest on his laurels, this seventh album isn't an entirely fresh new investigation; many of the nine tracks could be dropped into earlier releases without alarm. In saying that, it's still one of his finest albums to date, particularly in terms of earwormy compositions that demand repeat listens.
The key to success on Eating Darkness is the minor keys and melancholy mood, effortlessly switching from sad melody to moments of propulsive Pop relief, the flow expertly hovering on the upbeat, perfectly demonstrated through the opening sequence of tracks, with Magic Briefcase sporting a sad synth line matched with a quiet shuffling percussion, followed by the moody, fluttering convulsions on Chemicals (both easily capable of tearing apart the emotionally wrought at just the right time in the morning) before transforming with poptimistic chinks of light on Wow. This characteristic ebb-and-flow is defining.
Halfway through Flügel declares The Best Is Yet To Come, half prediction, half brag but accurate; an obvious reflection of his outlook on devouring the danger that lurks in the dark.