Oneida – Positions

So I mentioned a while back that Oneida walk amongst the Gods when it comes to music (at least in my universe, which I can categorically state is not flat), and they’ve gone and released another thing to confirm what I’ve said. This makes a nice change on artists who I go nuts over subsequently releasing something which is far less exciting. I shall not mention names cos that’s not what I do.

positionscoverApparently, two of these tunes are covers of tunes by This Heat, who rumour has it are some kind of legends. To my shame and eternal un-coolness, I have never investigated them.

The three tracks on this release are all pretty different. Opener ‘S.P.Q.R.’ reminds me in style of their classic album┬áRated O; ‘Under whose sword’ is a much more ambient affair, and closer ‘All data lost’ morphs from squall-tastic free jazz mayhem at the start (very similar to the afore-linked recent People of the North album) into out and out krautrock of the most legendary variety.

Whether this classes as an album or an EP is not for me to say; I’m beginning to think such distinctions are unimportant. A release is a release, and as long as the work is appropriate to the artists intention then its existence is justified.

(Their website is normally here, but not displaying today for some reason. I’ll leave this link though in the hope that the problem is temporary)

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People of the North – An Era of Manifestations

eraIf I’d have been doing this blog thing back in 2009/10, then pretty much every second or third post I’d have been looking to find an excuse to reference Oneida the way I have this year been finding any excuse to reference Hey Colossus. In the world of my music taste, Oneida are amongst the Gods, primarily for the masterful Rated O but also the incredible consistency they have demonstrated across their catalogue coupled with the fact they don’t take themselves too seriously. In fact, all the Gods in my musical world exhibit almost identical traits to those just described. It also helps when you can drop a tune that is as outrageous and awesome (and I mean that word in its true sense, i.e. wonderful and a bit scary) as Sheets of Easter.

Oneida have, technically, been a bit quiet over the last few years, but what they’ve really been doing is stuff other than Oneida. One of those things is People of the North, whose new album is some seriously top grade psychedelic medicine. Sonically we’re in the areas of their recent explorations, but this is much more free form as you would expect from improvised situations such as these, and very close in spirit to the free jazz musicians. This is much more than just some blokes walking up to their instruments, expressing themselves freely and then walking away again – this is some blokes walking up to their instruments, playing freely whilst also listening to what is happening around them and constructing a glorious sonic world in the process, yo.

I consider this album basically unclassifiable, but that may mean that I am ‘uneducated’ in this realm as much as anything else. I think the best albums always are a bit unclassifiable though. Part of the problem with using words to describe something that isn’t words, I suppose.

Words, eh? Can’t live with ’em…