NOVEMBER REWIND: METALLIC PROG, DRONE RANGERS, COMET OFFSHOOTS AND RADICAL HEAVY SOUL FROM ALGIERS
It’s the last monthly Rewind of 2018, so what did November bring? A kick-arse new album from Oxford’s Masiro, and a small fistful of righteous first impressions. Let’s go.
MASIRO – Geodesics
What do you do when you can’t make a local gig by local people? Buy the music instead. Masiro supported Ghosts in the Photograph the other week and there was no way I could get to it – ’twas the night after Killing Joke, another unfortunate miss – so Bandcamp did the honours and supplied a Geodesic-sized dose. What play they? Shapeshifting instrumental prog that’s inventive not indulgent, and brisk too – six tracks, oodles of shifts within each one, thirty two minutes total. Andromeda Handshake launches with double-kick hits and post-rock shred but it soon veers off, crossing paths with a chill wind from Cult of Luna (very briefly, in the slowdown) and the supernova soar that Cave In sculpted around Tides of Tomorrow. In fact, it’s that era of Cave In – the ultra clean tone with metallic clang for anchors – that comes back throughout the album, especially on the juddering Grand Trine at Geodesics’ end. Space rock for non stoners. RIP Caleb Scofield.
Got to mention the part dreamy/part brickhouse K-Ursa as well, because its lithe alto sax and non-pop time signatures definitely scratch a post-Blackstar itch for rock-jazz. Fucking love it. Check Masiro and Geodesics here and file under ADVENTURE.
Right, that’s the mini-review done. Time to share a few of those new discoveries from the past month or so.
RANDALL DUNN – Something About That Night
Emerging straight out of The Fog’s creeper glow, Dunn’s atmospheric semi ambient doom-scapes slow the pace mightily, but not oppressively – the avant producer-turned-arteest constructs a world of dark space and layers it up with drones, crackles, voice manipulations and slow-bursting vintage synths. A warming audio chill.
SOCCER 96 – Button Basher
Fading in and out of sharpness – or maybe it’s my cassette doing a warp thing – Button Basher pushes that dense, exotic, vaguely drum and bass vibe Amon Tobin might knock out. Who Soccer 96? Two dudes from The Comet is Coming. No wonder it’s dextrous and restless. And you can bet they’re not sampling, either.
MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE – Tomb Puncher
Best track name of the month. Band name not bad, either. Not heard them before, but if Scott Kelly is half the band and they’re on Neurot, they’ve gotta be worth a poke. Tomb Puncher comes from album #2 and it’s a thick wash of slow, deliberate, beat-heavy tension and electrostatic interference. Not exactly festive, yet if you fancy a pounding of paranormal activity, MFPW do the job.
ALGIERS – Walk Like a Panther
A blaze of a track, loaded with firepower. Heard it through 6 Music’s Black Power Month in October and have since checked some Algiers audio … this lot sound wired in to something very, very real, like this is music as history, as education, as action, as revolution, as human spirit. Maybe I’m caught up in a heady first rush, but check Blood for a full-on mix of gospel power, chain rattles, industrialised beds and discordant guitar fire and see what you first think. What a mix. Algiers KNOW stuff. More time needed with this, for sure.
And there we are, done for another month – and we didn’t even get into King Crimson live (holy shit, gig of a lifetime).
’til next time!