Ineffably stylish avant-punks Toresch pursue the shark-eyed swerve and bite of their Essen Für Alle debut - one of our most-played records of 2016 - with a 2nd batch of skulking aces for Vladimir Ivkovic’s Offen Music outta Düsseldorf’s Salon Des Amateurs.
Again, Detlef Weinrich (Tolouse Low Trax) tills the groove for Viktoria Wehrmeister, a Mexican-born German sculptor and artist with previous form for Klaus Dinger’s La! NEU? troupe. However, this time the vibe is more concentrated, low-key, burning with dark blue hues for red lit basements to leave listeners in a purple twilight zone, hypnotised by Weinrich’s reticulated rhythms, commanded by Viktoria’s pidgin, made-up Spanish lyrics, and subconsciously tripping to the plasmic mix magick of Gordon Pohl, whose sleight-of-hand was crucial to the success of Toresch’s debut.
In EP opener Guayabame we hear echoes of their addictive Como Para Todos, but contracted and numbed to a tighter, frozen buzz with Viktoria stalking the stage front and centre, less raging, more snarling. On Las Locas they tuck the rhythm somewhere darker and more fetid with the kind of snake-hipped shuffle that unlocks the psyche in devilish ways, vocals reserved to a sort of druggy and wickedly illegible slur.
The highlight this time is their lip-bitingly strong, noirish beauty El Fuego, where Viktoria Jekyll & Hyde’s herself in whispers and curling, orientalist plumes amid a maze of slow, smoky electro-dub draped in midnight jazz keys, before rearing up like a mutant, melted New Beat or proto-techno zinger in the clenched, simmering pressure of Tocar, which subtly benefits from Gordon Pohl’s fathomless dub mix sphere.