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After a four-year hiatus since their acclaimed sophomore effort, Pleasurekraft return with their third and final album, On Growth and Form. Amidst a backdrop of global upheaval, including a pandemic, concurrent wars, political polarization, and existential threats from climate change and artificial intelligence, this album stands as a testament to human resilience and creativity.

As on previous albums, the album’s opening track sets the thematic stage for the musical journey ahead. On the operatic sythn-wave track, aptly titled, The Optimist.

Pleasurekraft’s Kaveh Soroush articulates, “Every generation has perceived of itself as living at the brink of history’s end; this has been a recurring theme of the last century and yet, we’re still here, creating amazing things, making new discoveries, and conversely, repeating mistakes, experiencing novel failures, and generally reflecting our youth as a species that has only inhabited this planet for a minuscule amount of evolutionary time. This opening track, and the album as a whole is essentially a reminder that we fool ourselves if we only dwell on half the narrative when there are humans on this planet that are creating incredible things and discovering aspects of nature that will shape the trajectory of not only our species, but the planet as a whole.”

Many of the themes explored on Pleasurekraft’s previous two albums are revisited on the new record with more nuanced perspective. The Social Primate, another of the album’s several synth-wave tracks, explores our ever-increasing engagement with social media and obsession with the culture of Self. Far from being judgemental, Pleasurekraft’s use of vocals imply an honest and dispassionate appraisal of what such technology fosters in a hyper-social primate whose lineage is marked with an insatiable hunger for the interiority of others.

Fear, co-produced with Mark Michael, merges psy-trance elements with a reflective narrative on the essence of fear, encouraging a deeper understanding of our most primal emotion.

One of the album’s new peak-time techno tracks, Non-Human Animal asks the listener to question our sense of human exceptionalism as we push toward artificial general intelligence without conceptual clarity on consciousness or the myriad ethical quandaries that accompany such technological pursuits.

Of course, for those seeking pure auditory pleasure, tracks like Blood Music, Ritual, and The Beautiful Flesh all deliver in spades, while The Ultimate Ride wears its 80s heart on its sleeve with a massively uplifting retro-synth influence.

The album concludes with its title track, On Growth and Form, an uplifting electronica track that invites listeners to reconsider their perspective on existence, shifting from a person experiencing the world, to the world and universe experiencing a person.

As Soroush puts it, “Of course this album wouldn’t have been possible without all the musical influences Kalle and I have had over the entirety of our lives. But much more important, we, nor any of those influences would exist were it not for the vast array of species that we share this planet with, from the bacteria in our gut, to the fungal networks beneath our feet that long before humanity existed allowed for oxygen producing trees to build root systems, etc. etc. etc. For me the inspiration for this third and final album is a celebration of life in all its forms, and this album is an homage, a ‘thank you’ letter in musical form, to the interconnected, symbiotic, sympoetic systems that have converged across evolutionary time scales to make this existence possible.”

From tech house pioneers to the progenitors of ‘Cosmic Techno’, Pleasurekraft’s musical evolution is itself a display of growth and form. While this final record marks the conclusion of their album journey, the duo anticipates releasing a few more singles throughout 2025, along with a compilation of their electronica/synth-wave tracks that will be forthcoming in late 2024.

On Growth and Form will be released May 3, on Pleasurekraft’s own imprint, Kraftek.