What will remain once you leave everything behind? Once you cut the grand gestures, the pressure, the expectations? What will remain when you just are? Oh, a hell of a lot. It is then that a distillate is showing – the thing that really counts. Pantha rhei, the ancient Greeks called it. “Runway Markings”, Okta Logue call it. And with it, they will change the music year of 2019 more that they are currently aware of.
Okta Logue have crossed the sea of Psychedelia and truly swim free now. The shore they reached is their very own island of bliss, a place that makes brothers Benno Herz (vocals, bass) and Robert Herz (drums), Philip Meloi (guitars) and Max Schneider (organ, synths) sound as natural, as animated, as serenely balanced as never before. However, it also made them sound as thoughtful and weary as never before. Still, a lot of people were pretty sure that after the both highly successful and highly mesmerising predecessor “Diamonds and Despair” (2016) the German four-piece would continue their way through elaborate retro sounds, bittersweet harmonies and Indie Rock quite a little further. Instead, Okta Logue fast forward their own evolution. With “Chocolate and Soda”, they already in 2017 proved that we’re about to witness just another pupation and transformation.
In ten otherworldly minutes, this track sets the mood for the record. Dreamy and hungover, the harmonies lazily, hazily drip into the distance. In a way that sounds like California, yes it does. But not the California you might think of. Instead of sunshine, palm trees and cocktails by the pool, it’s more like San Francisco Bay on a foggy morning. Maybe Pink Floyd would sound like that had they lived in California. And that’s no coincidence: It was “Atom Heart Mother” of all his dad’s records that made a lasting impression on vocalist Benno Herz. “After ‘Diamonds and Despair’ we were looking for a new sound”, Herz recalls. With his instantly recognizable, delicate voice he could carry the band alone. He doesn’t have to, but it’s a nice to have. “Thus, we pondered the question what’s really us.” The song “Chocolate and Soda”, he says, was written almost coincidentally and quickly became a key moment for the new record.