Croatian Amor - Love Means Taking Action - Posh Isolation


The new Croatian Amor album on Posh Isolation, Love Means Taking Action, is an emotional sonic exploration of the complexity of love in these postmodern times.

Croatian Amor Album ReviewLoke Rahbek’s creative output has always been intriguing - whether it is the elegant power electronics of the Damien Dubrovnik duo (here is their interview and mix) or the cold synth tropicalia of Lust for Youth. His works under Croatian Amor (CA) thrive on the ridge between utopian escapism and digital age decadence. It is one of Loke’s most introverted offerings, yet at the same time the most open to personal resonance. CA’s recent live performance at Berlin Atonal was a full-on showcase of this - an early echo of the album, presented in an elaborate audiovisual form. Unsurprisingly “Love Means Taking Action” (LMTA) is one the most personal and intimate musical journeys Loke has ever embarked on. On this album he further explores the interplay of proximity and alienation, emotional effects, and the role of feeling in the overwhelming world of the global web and its non-stop flood of ephemeral information.

As Loke pointed out in his recent interview for Thump, “the record is about a quest to love strangers, so that they stop being strangers”. This nicely encapsulates the dichotomy of the release. A similar concept might be traced back to the previous Croatian Amor album “The Wild Palms”, which could be obtained only by sending naked selfies. Even though no such form of purchasing is present now, LMTA follows a similar logic of merging the thin line between listener and artist - Loke will release the album’s audio stems to the public so the audience can make their own versions of the album, frame it into their own personal narratives, surroundings. It echoes a point mentioned by Loke to Secret Thirteen earlier - that he would be interested in seeing the artist become more like a “game master” in a role-playing game.

Sonically, the album fulfils the promises hinted at in recent compilation appearances - the cold balearic awe of “Most Major Cities Are Built On The Foundation Of A Love Affair” or the noir ambience of “Legs Around Nadim”. At times it almost feels like a deconstructed pop record - the female voice is singing uneasy and melancholic lullabies wrapped in silk synth drones (“Like Angel”) or stretching mellow loops of otherworldly harmonies (“Octopus Web”). It is one of the most diverse CA records in terms of its sonic palette. “Any Life You Want” sounds almost like an Andy Stott track in its most abstract form, caught during a neon midnight drive. “Reality Summit” resembles euphoric kosmische arpeggios, charged with longing and melancholy, and “No Sex Club Man” ends with a beautiful piano passage. All of these elements interact in a beautiful way and serve for one coherent and emotional narrative.

Ending the record with the title piece seems like a symbolic gesture. Apart from being one of the most inspiring moments in music this year alongside Lust For Youth’s “Display” or Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s “Love’s Refrain”, it is also quite therapeutic with its soft pads, piano drops and the mood, which is majestic and peaceful, signalling a strange affinity or coming to terms with oneself. And all of this in an unstable world haunted by threats and fears. We can only speculate what meaning lies behind the title of the album. What is true is that it observes the beauty and complexity of love, affection and loss with the multilayered and sometimes haunting nature of these feelings. In the modern world, congested with information, where some of our senses grow numb and passive, this reminder is essential.


1. An Angel Gets His Wings Clipped
2. Nadim Call Emergence
3. No Sex Club (Man)
4. Any Life You Want
5. Reality Summit
6. Like Man
7. Like Angel
8. Refugee Turns To Safety
9. Octopus Web
10. Nadim Call Emergence II
11. Like Animal
12. Love Means Taking Action

About Author

Paulius Ilevicius is a Secret Thirteen journalist, editor and occasional DJ focusing on more dreamy and melancholic soundscapes. Born in post-industrial town of Pavevezys, currently he lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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