Life Coach

(Thrill Jockey)

You probably know Phil Manley for his flamboyant guitar/keyboard riffing and filigreeing for Trans Am and the Fucking Champs (he also plays in Oneida and Jonas Reinhardt). For Trans Am, he's proved himself to be a fluent master of incisive post-­rock color­ation; for the Champs, a witty satirist of chugging metal and rococo prog flourishes. With his solo debut, the all-­instrumental Life Coach, though, Manley gets into the krautrock vocabulary of motorik jamology and kosmische ambience processes. He seems utterly sincere in his love of '70s German underground rock—and why shouldn't he be? Klassic krautrock is one of the most enduring and enriching musics ever conceived. Anyone who's immersed him/herself in krautrock's canon will recognize Manley's homages: Kraftwerk's carefree "Autobahn"ing excursions; Cluster and Harmonia's expansive synth fantasias; Emtidi's florid folk meditations; Manuel Göttsching and Günter Schickert's spacey tone floats. As such oblique tributes go, Life Coach is a well-executed hat tip to some of the most chills-inducing music ever created. Gute Arbeit, Phil.