“One of the great things about music is that it has the capability of time travel.” - M. Ward
Music is time travel. And LONG DISTANCE CALLING are one of it's frequent flyers, pioneers in shattering boundaries and building sonic bridges. They never really cared about whether they were headed back to the future or forward into the past. Where other bands vainly tried to live up to wannabe-avantgarde terms like retrofuturistic or Post-whatever, LONG DISTANCE CALLING lived in their own bubble from the very beginning. After emerging as an instrumental Rock band of wonders with their soaring debut “Satellite Bay” in 2007, the Münster based outfit quickly earned a genre defying fan base, touring with everyone from Deftones to Anathema and Dredg. They never stood still and always did what their music demanded – even if it meant to welcome a permanent vocalist in their ranks, a trick they pulled in 2012 by adding Martin Fischer to their ranks.
“Disconnect the truth from lies - see how time destroyed the binding ties” “Reconnect”
Vocals or not, their approach remained the same: Pushing the envelope, writing gripping songs and fulfilling a very intimate musical vision. Still, even the biggest bubble is eventually too small – and in 2016, it bursts in a radiating explosion of creativity, progress and a courageous re-defining of old virtues. What in recent years could (with just a little bit of artistic freedom) be described as Post Rock has culminated in this liberating move called “TRIPS”, shutting drawers, shattering expectations and liberating them from constraints. Over and over again. “This record is our most daring and varied album yet”, the band states. “And also our most accessible.”
Pushing limits, cutting comforts, thinking outside the box. This formula led LONG DISTANCE CALLING into the arms of Vincent Sorg, a renowned man of skills holding an ECHO award as “Producer of the year”. A new challenge after years of being left to their own devices. “It was a bit unusual”, they admit, “but that was what we wanted in the first place: leaving our comfort zone.” What happened was a key moment in the history of the band, nothing short of an epiphany. “Every band has its formula, and it is more than easy to do things the usual way. This time, though, we wanted to avoid that. This time, we wanted to go that extra mile.”
“Travelling in timeless spaces...” “Lines”
Yet, LONG DISTANCE CALLING don't tear down the foundations they meticulously built in the last decade. Aside from having a lot more time on their hands (“TRIPS” is coming three years after 2013's “The Flood Inside”), this was facilitated by a new approach to songwriting. For the first time, the band drew back from the world, withdrew to a solitary mountain hut – and reinvented themselves. “This is what really sparked our creativity”, they have to say about this inspiring experience. “No one is able to achieve a great result without focussing.”
But this is exactly what “TRIPS” is: a stunning album carefully translating old structures into a new universe, a marvel in its own right. What used to be an amalgamation of the band member's eclectic tastes has now become a many-headed beast, a Janus figure feeding off Rock, Metal, Alternative and Pop – and Prog, to be exact: “TRIPS” is not so much a continuation of established virtues, but a bold move into the unknown. And hasn't this been the most plain and simple definition of Prog there ever was?
“There is no way to send my words through time” “Rewind”
LONG DISTANCE CALLING have become a troupe of daring and adventurous musicians that finally escaped their leashes, that broke down the walls of their own confinement. Not because they deliberately wanted to break with their past. Not because they're not proud of what they achieved with their previous records. Yet, “TRIPS” is not only a new chapter in their career but a whole new book, so to speak. This is also due to the amicable departure of vocalist Martin Fischer and the talents of Norwegian singer Petter Carlsen who stepped in for the recordings. His voice beautifully resonates in half of the songs on “TRIPS”, seamlessly floating through them as if they were just meant to be united.
From the highly atmospheric opener “Getaway” (think “Escape From L.A.” scored by a modern day Pink Floyd) across the driving and intense anthem “Reconnect” with its chorus built for eternity. The emotional impact of “Rewind” with its duelling piano and beats, to the vast plains of the echoing monster of an instrumental, “Momentum”, before the album erupts into the 13 minute climax “Flux” with its spiritual and epic sense of psychedelic grandeur, making “TRIPS” a bold and courageous release worth its ambiguous title. This is not your usual Post Rock, but perhaps it never has been. This is a new beginning, an odyssey of eclectic, demanding and yet highly rewarding proportions that should unite connoisseurs of Prog, Metal heads, Rockers and Alternative fans alike. Or should we just call them lovers of music?
LONG DISTANCE CALLING are impressively stepping up their game both musically and vocally. This time around, even the lyrical background couldn't be more fitting to the post-utopian, dreamlike and forlorn eighties vibe seeping out of the record. On “TRIPS”, LONG DISTANCE CALLING utter the wish to travel through time, to relive certain moments, but also to undo certain things they said, to spend more time with lost ones we once held dear. “While making this album, five grandparents of members in this band died and a baby was born. This left its marks on us and only adds to the fact of what a strange and fascinating thing time actually is.” Thanks to “TRIPS”, we can now indulge in this fascination and plunge right into a journey through the future into the past. Or was it the other way round? (Björn Springorum)
David Jordan - guitar
Florian Füntmann -guitar
Janosch Rathmer - drums
Jan Hoffmann – bass