So a Chilean kosmiche trio walked into a backstage party at a Wooden Shjips gig… and ended up re-working two tunes from their most recent release with the help of a minimalist drone guitar legend.
This is one of those collaborations that makes even more sense on your speakers than it does on paper. Föllakzoid have come a long way since their early days and have now forged a sound recognisably their own. Jason Spaceman slots right into it, as if he’s been playing with them for years. Some of my favourite of his guitar shapes come out on this, particularly a passage that reminds me of my favourite Spiritualized song, Pure Phase.
Did you ever hear Richard Fearless’ remix of Regular Fries Dust It, Don’t Bust It? That would fit on this release perfectly. The atmosphere has a groovy but woozy late-night feel (although it’s 8am as I type this; thanks kiddies!) The two pieces reworked aren’t that drastically changed from their first incarnation in that they are recognisable but they seem to have gained some extra space with the extra person on board. Their music continues to evolve in a manner befitting of true forward thinking mofos.
I meant to post about this when it came out since I eagerly anticipated its release after they did the pre-announcement thing and I listened to the first track, a marketing ploy I otherwise despise as being irrelevant to the digital age. But Other Things were Very Very Good and caught hold of my easily distracted attention span, so there you go, Beyond Beyond is Beyond records – you’d have had a proper on the moment big-up if you’d have just stuck it out when it was ready. Let that be a lesson to you.
Our Solar System are a collective from Sweden. This release contains two tracks, and so is definitely Music My Brother Would Not Like (I will explain that epithet in an upcoming post). Opener ‘In the beginning of time’ comes on like Pharoah Sanders chilling with a quite propulsive Parson Sound. ‘At the edge of time’ dispenses with the sax and brings the vox, largely wordless and ecstatic to start with but introducing actual words later on.
My own personal nearest reference point to this is actually Sungod – I could quite easily imagine these jams turning up on one of their albums. Both tunes exceed twenty minutes, and both tunes could keep going as far as I’m concerned. There’s a lot of repetition but also gradual evolution of the music too – not in a linear way, however. The music demonstrates an impressive understanding of the cyclical nature of the macrocosm. There, I said it (well, typed).
Like my most recent post, I’m going to put the many other projects so far associated with this amongst the tags to save me typing it all twice!
Sula Bassana is the guitarist in Electric Moon, who are probably my favourite practitioners of the ‘jam-band’ aesthetic. He’s a busy boy, as not only does he run Sulatron records, he actually has quite the back catalogue of solo releases, of which the above mentioned and pictured is the latest. He also plays in Krautzone and Zone Six.
He’s dropped his guitar for this one as this one is almost entirely electronic using mostly vintage (therefore analogue, presumably) instruments. The tunes have that propulsive rhythm associated with that area of the world that we’ve come to know and love, but also a really deep, meditative and trance like feel. I’m not talking Ibiza here.
Now for a bit of a rant – until the end of last year, I was happily using the word ‘krautrock.’ But now I actually think about it, I’m not going to use it. Given that the term ‘kraut’ was a derogatory term for Germans used by their enemies in the world wars, I should think it would be obvious why. I’ll stick to ‘kosmiche’ instead, for now, even though that’s in danger of getting nearly as overused as ‘psychedelic.’ Genre labels, eh? Can’t live with ’em.
Now, I wonder how the Germans actually feel about the word? I mean, one of Sula’s projects is called Krautzone. Perhaps they’ve decided not to be offended, simply decided to use/reclaim the word and let things be. Maybe the word was never offensive to start with and we weren’t imaginative enough to come up with a more offensive insult. Any Germans out there like to offer me their thoughts? There is always the distinct possibility that I’m being an over-sensitive, privileged middle class wanker here by trying to impose a ‘thou-shalt-not’ that isn’t actually necessary. But there’s always the possibility that I’m not.
I am going to do a best of 2015 round up, for what it’s worth, although my trawling through other people’s round ups is giving me a feast of new stuff to try, which is coinciding with me getting back into recording new stuff so I consequently have less time to check stuff out… in many ways, this is a great problem to have.
So anyway, Minami Deutsch. They first came to my attention via the venerable bandcamp hunter, and have been sat in my wishlist for several months since then. Their appearance in at least 3 end of year lists reminded me to go listen again, and listen again I did, and buying the album I did too, subsequently.
If I say ‘krautrock’ then that will basically tell you everything you need to know. But as I despise the term ‘krautrock’ nearly as much as I despise the term ‘world music’ I’m instead going to say ‘repetition, repetition, repetition.’ You like Can? Harmonia? Follakzoid? You like these.
I dunno if it’s just me, but I’m beginning to get a bit concerned about bands not having a standalone website. I mean, the top hit for the wonderful Föllakzoid was their bandcamp page. The first two pages in the search engine are mostly reviews. Although there is this, but the ‘this’ I mentioned takes me to a page that flashes and does nothing else…
Probably this is a rant for another time, though.
So, I like Föllakzoid’s new album, III, very much indeed, and it seems I’m not alone from the reviews I found.
It’s a very atmospheric groove they’ve got going on. I actually think the kosmiche/krautrock labels I’ve seen applied to them sell them a lot short. I mean, sure, they probably would rock a jam with Gunter Schickert or Ash Ra Tempel, but they’ve definitely got their own thing going on here too. I have, however, yet to hear their first two albums, so I may be missing some context. I will no doubt get round to listening to said albums soon; I’ve had a veritable cornucopia of wonderful music of late, so fitting it in can be my favourite kind of problem.
And that was before GNOD released their new epic…