The trip-hop act Sofa Surfers was founded in 1997 by a quartet of sound-obsessed Viennese instrumentalists: Wolfgang Schlögl, Markus Kienzl, Wolfgang Frisch, and Michael Holzgruber. The group’s debut single, “Sofa Rockers,” earned a remix from fellow Austrian head Richard Dorfmeister, and their debut album, “Transit”, earned wide release through MCA.
“Cargo” and “Constructions: Remixed and Dubbed” followed three years later.
It’s fitting that Sofa Surfers, a band not at all afraid to switch up their sound, have entitled their latest album, “Sofa Surfers”. It’s sound is simple, honest and stripped down to the essence of the band; brooding and melancholy moodiness mixed with an angstful tension that at times comes dangerously close to boiling over.
Sofa Surfers familiar hip-hop/dub style has given way to a minimalized indie rock/R&B/Soul sound using sparsely arranged bass, drum and guitar with an R&B/soul vocal style compliments of Mani Obeya, but it retains the Sofa Surfers well-known personality. Describing this album as sounding “like a hardcore band after the noise has abated” is fair, but don’t put too much weight into the “hardcore band” part of that statement because they sound much closer to Massive Attack than any hardcore band I know.
There is an evolution that occurs throughout the album, starting on the melancholy side, moving into angst and then back to melancholy. “White Noise” is a great lead track and soon to be released as the first single off this album.