Valeriu Borcos and Eduard Gabia are Karpov not Kasparov, a musical game of chess between synthesizers and drums. Beginning in Bucharest in 2009, the duo soon incorporated an analogue visual artist and contemporary dancers into their live performances, resulting in a theatrical show and a kind of real-time soundtrack to the action around them. The duo’s unique dynamic creates a psychedelic synth-driven sound, combining oriental melodies with the drive of a full live drum kit. “Soundtrack for a game of Chess” is their debut LP, comprising a selection of the best tracks from their previous two EPs, which never appeared on vinyl. “Mechanical Turk”, named after a faux chess-playing machine constructed in the late 18th century, displays the darker side to the band’s undulating sound, as the vintage synth creates a spacey Eastern overlay to the driving bass and drums. There are moments of downbeat jazz-infused introspection, such as the track “Kaissa”, named after the goddess of chess, as well as the ever-onward kraut drums of “Choose you colour gipsy dark” overlaid with the rise and fall of a pulsating synth. Yet the record is not simply a dark synth composition, at times K not K sway towards a more playful, experimental pop sound reminiscent of early electronic pioneers such as Harmonia or Vangelis, while still managing to retain a modern, otherworldly feel. Having garnered great acclaim within their native Romania, their debut EPs also received high praise internationally from sources such as WFMU. While last year, Mehmet Aslan’s re-work of “Mechanical Turk” released on Huntleys + Palmers made waves across the dance floors of the world.