I have been listening to Landing for years. When i started my journey with them (back in 2001!), they were making droning, aggressively psychedelic music. Later, the band became poppier, and released a few albums of light but interesting indie pop. However, i felt that they were coasting on the record before this one, and hoped to see them grow in a new and different direction.
Well, they did. Daron Gardner left the band, and was replaced by synthesizerist (synthesist?) Peter Baumann. This adds another layer of keyboards to Landing's spacey wanderings. The end result: this is old-fashioned krautrock. Stoß zu Landing ist alte Schule, ja?! Anyway, on Brocade, Landing explore repetitive beats and droning melodies. This might turn off some people who liked their poppier stuff, but for those of us familiar with their first few releases, this is a rebirth, a return to form.
There are 5 tracks in 46 minutes, if that tells you anything. The album starts out with Loft, which is a nice spacey journey. It fades out to be replaced by Yon, in which guitars drone and keyboards tinkle. This is a really beautiful piece from the band. Unlike the fast pace of Loft, Yon meanders with spacey sounds and layers of drone. It does this for about 12 minutes, so patience is a must with this tune.
Yon doesn't end so much as drift away with guitar noise. In its place,
Landing give us Spiral Arms, whose tingling guitars are more like the
work Landing did on their epic Passages
Through. This is another long tune, so again be patient.
Again, Spiral Arms doesn't end so much as it is swallowed by the next tune, the rocking How to Be Clear. The guitar drugs, the keys keep a steady beat, the drum thuds, and Aaron Snow sings almost ... angrily. This is, perhaps, the punkest tune that Landing have ever done. It sounds practically furious for them. It is also only about 4:30 long, so i guess that this naturally calm, introspective band just can't keep the anger up for long. Still, i love the juxtaposition of this tune among the space ballads that make up the rest of the album. It ends with a wall of furious guitar feedback that is sure to please even the most diehard Sonic
Finally, the album ends with a 17 minute journey called Music for Three Synthesizers. The title pretty much gives you all that you need to know about this wandering, droning tune. If you like Landing at their spaciest or enjoy the early work of Tangerine Dream (before they went all "new age" on us), then you will enjoy this song.
Overall, i am impressed. This is another fine record from Landing. I am sure that the nature of these songs will not be appreciated by those who enjoyed their poppier moments, but i assure you that the music is rewarding, if you give the songs the chance to grow and envelope you with their sounds.
Once again, after absorbing a Landing record (a lengthy process, i can assure you), i am left with a satisfied feeling of appreciation, and a sense of wondering "what will they do next?" I am still curious to see where they will take me on their next journey. There are not a lot of bands that i can say that about.