Album review: FREQUENCY DRIFT – Letters To Maro

FREQUENCY DRIFT - Letter To Maro

Gentle Art of Music [Release date 13.04.18]

Quite how German cinematic rock band Frequency  Drift’s last release Last (2016) slipped through the GRTR! net (after Alan Jones waxing lyrical about the life-reaffirming qualities of Ghosts (2011), Laid To Rest (2012), and Summer (2014)) is something of a mystery.  I blame Brexit.

The brainchild of Andreas Hack (keys, synths, guitar, bass, mandolin), the band is something of constantly evolving line-up .  Vocalists, in particular, come and go with ‘frequency’.

The core of Hack, Nerissa Schwartz (electric harp, mellotron, synthesisers)and Wolfgang Ostermann (drums, wavedrum) remain from the band’s last outing – Last (2016) – but Irini Axela  takes over vocals, it has to be said, almost seamlessly from Melanie Mau and there’s no guitarist or bassist this time around.

As a consequence, the band’s eighth album, is absent of the heavy guitars that permeated Last, giving way to the rhythmic, multi layered, meanderings of Hack and Schwartz.  And if the vocals were stripped away you’d be left with some truly ambient cinematic soundscapes.

But Irini Axela’s vocals are hypnotically inviting, adding a melody that take Letters To Maro to another level.  Melanie Mau’s vocals were likened to Annie Haslam, and that reference point is just as relevant for Axela, who when added to the mix brings not only Renaissance to mind, but also shades of Magenta, Enya/Clannad, and even Madonna.

Beautifully produced, at times mesmeric, there’s much to admire here.  A truly progressive piece of work, that works on any number of levels.  ****1/2

Review by Pete Whalley


Throughout September 2018 Get Ready to ROCK! Radio celebrated the station’s 10th anniversary and a two-hour special reflected a decade of broadcasting. “10 years in the making” features archive interviews with Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Todd Rundgren, Graham Bonnet, David Coverdale, John Wetton and Bob Catley.

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Power Plays w/c 3 December 2018

We play Top Albums and Live Acts as selected by the GRTR! Reviewers.

Featured Albums w/c 3 December (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 Melodic Rock – featured in 2018
12:00-13:00 Melodic Hard Rock – featured in 2018
14:00-16:00 Singer Songwriter – featured in 2018

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 21 GUNS Nothing’s Real (1997)



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