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Beijing postpunks Re-Tros ditch the chilly atmospherics for Krautrock and dance music

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After releasing a couple of albums surveying the tundra of postpunk—full of wide-open spaces, instrumental lunges, and feral howls—Beijing three-piece Re-Tros are pivoting toward a minimalism that draws people in rather than making them scurry away. During the best tracks on their forthcoming third album, Before the Applause (Modern Sky USA), Re-Tros condense the frisson of their past work into momentary bursts that fit neatly into a newfound Krautrock pulse. On recent single “8 + 2 + 8 II” they fill in large spaces that previously would have been left empty with a low-humming, cyclical synth melody that offers a gleaming, endless horizon for the band’s hypnotic pattern of handclaps. At its heights “8 + 2 + 8 II” is a dance track, operating as a reminder of Krautrock’s influence on techno while allowing us to find new routes to music’s future.   v

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