I actually had to Google the term ‘Krautrock’ in order to properly synthesize and review the first single released by L.A.-based foursome known as Altar Egos. I’m glad I did take the time to gain a proper understanding of the krautrock genre as I feel it is the most comprehensive way to describe Alter Ego’s debut single, released earlier this month. The term was originally coined by American music journalists and intended to light-heartedly describe a budding musical style that had yet to be defined in the American scene. Krautrock is also called “kosmische Musik” which is German for “cosmic music”. It describes a vastly differential genre of experimental rock that began to grow in popularity beginning in late 1960’s Germany. Today, we apply terms like “shoegaze” or “psych-rock” but I was excited by this newly discovered and underappreciated name for this style of music. It’s groovy, grungy and perfectly embodies the kaleidoscopic sounds that constitute rock music of the late ‘60’s.
Altar Egos is comprised of four talented multi-instrumentalists: Jaiq Styne, Brendan Snyder, Andrew Giurgiun, and Keveen Baudoin. Their first single as a group was released on SoundCloud in mid-February, generating a positive response with almost 2,500 plays in a little over a month. The group quickly followed up with their newly released second single called ‘Reflections’ in anticipation for their upcoming autonomously produced album. This latest release is deeply representative of the “Krautrock” moniker; resounding, hollow vocals with reverberating chords and vacuous effects. This latest release exemplifies the instrumental capacity of each band member, as it features poignant guitar melodies and hearty rhythms.
Altar Egos, although new as a collective, are not strangers to the L.A. wavy psych rock scene. I was captivated by vocalist Andrew Giurgiun when he fronted an alternative avant-garde psych pop group called mothdrops for much of 2017, playing gigs I attended at Redwood Bar in DTLA and snagging a spot on the lineup for the three-day Echo Park Rising festival in August 2017. I highly anticipate the same captivating stage presence and performance value as Altar Egos takes the stage at their album release show. The gig will be hosted by the Moroccan Lounge, formerly the One-Eyed Gypsy on April 20th. This hidden venue is like a well-kept secret in the local Los Angeles music scene; slightly removed from the city and the perfect atmosphere to welcome a debut album by Altar Egos, who show initiative and innovation in the few glimpses they’ve offered of their new album! Both singles can be streamed on Spotify and tickets for the 4/20 album release show are still available.