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Föllakzoid Merges Techno and the Psychedelic for New Album

Chilean experimental trio Föllakzoid's newest release, the aptly titled III, has only four tracks, but there is nothing economical about what they do with their humble arsenal. Each song, including the opening track "Electric," is an expansive, layered masterpiece that is organically constructed from the haunting rhythms inside their heads.

"I would say it's the feeling of having a conversation in an unknown language. It feels like talking in an extinct tongue," guitarist Domingo Garcia-Huidobro describes the songwriting process and playing with his fellow bandmates.

About halfway through the 12-minute, nearly vocal-less song, you almost expect to see a pig balloon floating above like a late-'70s Pink Floyd concert, but their melodies and sound continue to evolve, often right before the audience's eyes.

"All of our songs are like living forms in a way," says Garcia-Huidobeo, "You have to feed them and keep them alive and they'll develop on their own. The creative process hasn't stopped since our first record. Some of the songs in III were initially conceived long time ago but weren't ready until now. In the same way, there are now songs being developed for the future. Some of them will be on records and some of them will never be. Some will only be available live, maybe once."

They're informed not only by the grooves of the ancient cultures that surround them, but also by pulsating techno. With this album, the band collaborated with veteran German electronic musician Atom™. His rigid and organized musical style, which would seem at odds with a band that seemingly creates songs onstage on a moment's notice, melds nicely with the hypnotic psychedelic elements the band has built their reputation on.

Garcia-Huidobeo feels any conflict was minimal. He says, "We hooked up [with Atom™] because he lives in Santiago [Chile] and was a fan of the band. It didn't take long before his manager contacted us to check out if there was a chance to work together. He was a fundamental piece of our last record and certainly seemed like a fourth member in this album. The whole experience was very interesting for us. He works in a very methodical and systematic way but with abstract elements, which is something I couldn't say I have already learned how to do. He definitely showed us a way of relating with the abstract in a more scientific way."

The group has been the biggest surprise of many a festival for a number of years. III shows what can be accomplished when the constraints of a minuscule afternoon festival time slot aren't holding back this emerging talent.

"We've played great festivals and venues, and some that aren't very good," states Garcia-Huidobeo, "In the end, it adds up to having good sound and the chance to be able to transform the space where the music is being created. Light and smoke always comes in handy. There's absolutely no need to prove anything to anyone with this record. We are very excited to visit the USA again and hope to see all our American followers at festivals and venues."

Föllakzoid is scheduled to perform Tuesday, May 5, at 51 West in Tempe.

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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil