The Frak trio of Jan Svensson, Björn Isgren and Johan Sturesson have been releasing music since the ’80s, but it is only in recent years that their music started to gain traction within house and techno circles. It’s hard to understand why it took so long for Frak to enjoy recognition, but irrespective of the explanation – and this writer is convinced that is connected to a wider acceptance of lo-fi electronic sounds – it’s still a fairly shocking indictment off the inherent conservatism in DJ culture.
Sure, Frak’s work doesn’t have the streamlined approach of say, a Klockworks release, but their muddy sound and grungy production work compensate for any shortcomings in the functionality department. Ironically enough, just as demand for the kind of gruff rhythm that Frak has been churning out since the late ’80s has spiked, they deliver a more musical release than you would usually find on their output with Börft Records.
The aptly named “Machines Drifting Away” features a rumbling electronic bass at its centre, but it’s Frak’s synth lines, spacey and atmospheric, that take precedence at the outset. It’s only a temporary arrangement however, and after a few minutes, one of their typically rough and ready 303 lines forces its way centre stage and sidelines the musical elements.
For this writer “To Find A Way Home” is more impressive. Ignoring any attempt this time to go deep, it sees Frak retreat to their heads down approach to hollowed out dance floor music. Again, a primal bass provides the backdrop, but on this occasion there is little else accompanying it, apart from a series of frequency-shifting tones and crucially, powerful, dubbed out drums that rumble and thud like thunder clouds rolling in over a grey lake. That Frak manage to make a distinctive dancefloor track while only using a few elements is further proof of why this long-running act is worthy of everyone’s attention.
A1. Machines Drifting Away
B1. To Find A Way Home