Formed in 2010 Camera were regarded as the “Krautrock Guerrilla” starting out as a three piece, playing to friends and commuters the down in the labyrinths of the U Bahn with two guitars, a tom tom, snare and a set of amps before progressing on to the streets and crashing gigs and events. Thankfully such early spontaneity was occasionally captured and uploaded onto the usual social media formats for those who missed this the first time around.
An album in 2012 followed Radiate! It has a distinctive authentic Krautrock sensibility. Instrumental throughout, it’s easy to reach for leanings towards the music of Neu here and there and perceive them as making music in the style of but this does the band a great disservice throughout, they have continued to create their own sonic soundscape. It is testimony to the calibre of the band that they would later play alongside such legendary figures as Michael Rother (Neu) and Dieter Mobius (Cluster) as equals, at a series of live gigs, once again posthumously captured and downloaded onto the usual sites.
Two more albums followed “Remember When I was Carbon Dioxide” (2014) and a more playful “Phantom of Liberty” (2016) at times making use of a Commodore 64 and faulty keyboards , which requires a certain confidence and sense of fun. In the opening track “Affenfaust” I’m hearing elements of D.A.F hooking up with Giorgio Moroder but that’s just whats going on in my head. Maybe other folk are hearing shades of L A Dusseldorf with EDM? Both albums, even with some line-up changes possess throughout that feeling of disciplined flow and experimentation, the result for listeners is to experience the music as it happens, meandering this way and that to reach its closing destination.
2018s Emotional Detox credits a line-up of 5 and as the title suggests reveals a certain kind of maturity, one that seems to be sadly in decline amongst a lot of folk lately. The sound is more expansive, cinematic perhaps, certainly more diverse, as if they after three excellent albums of development and discovering they have now found themselves. Tracks like Patrouille pulsates with that same Camera energy but with a cleaner sound, still wandering here and there, going with the flow but with more instruments to play with over its 11. 55 min, it’s certainly foot tapping stuff. This may be due to the constant presence of drummer Michael Drummer (what a great and apt name) who has been with the band since the start, who provides the solid ground, the gravity and backbone that pulls the band and sound together, we also have the return of keyboard player Timm Brockmann who mastered the album and who briefly left the band at one point. Let’s face it, for the most part being in a band was never a guaranteed stable career choice. Anyone choosing that pathway knows it’s no easy road, So its reassuringly good, uplifting even to hear a band that is maturing and still developing and doing what they want to do because that’s what they want to do. Ganz toll.