Møtrik’s name is pretty self-explanatory: The Portland four-piece’s moniker refers to the simple, pulsing 4/4 motorik beat that permeates many krautrock records, and they deploy many of the same devices as bands like Kraftwerk and Neu! But Møtrik is much craftier than their name implies.
With their new album Safety Copy, the band revs up the rock throttle while retaining the celestial underpinnings of their 2014 debut, which makes for a more immediate, yet still compelling listen. In fact, the added grit pushes Møtrik’s sound to even greater dimensions, especially on tracks like “King øf Tønga,” which builds around a corroded guitar riff before it’s slowly overtaken by a swarm of bass and synth. In just over five minutes, the song transforms into something completely different.
Taken as a whole, the songs on Safety Copy are more concise (and more memorable) than those of its predecessor. “Impøssible/ØK” and “Transmissiøn” do more in less time, coming in hot and then detouring briefly into spacier realms (both also employ sparse, robotic vocals—a first for the band). For those looking for a headier voyage, “Møving Destinatiøn” is nine minutes of prog and krautrock that melts into—you guessed it—a motorik beat. (For those with the vinyl, that beat will reveal itself again in a locked groove at the end of side B.)
This time around, the members of Møtrik tap into their other musical projects (guitarist Cord Amato and synth-commander Dave Fulton both played in long-running Portland bands Wow & Flutter and Dweller on the Threshold, respectively), and in doing so, Safety Copy feels more lived-in—the vision is clearer, the execution more focused.
Møtrik belongs to the massive faction of American bands that have copped Germany’s more otherworldly musical elements. But on Safety Copy, the group expertly ties those sounds together with decades of greasy rock ’n’ roll mutations. Møtrik’s sincerity, and their respect and love for the music, seals the deal.
-Mark Lore (Portland Mercury)