Landmark post rock LP reissued on Thrill Jockey
The 21-minute epic Djed fills side one, opening with a creeping bassline, overlaid with all manner of storm-electronics, their interference source not immediately obvious. This scarred vista gives way to a developing beat, and suddenly it’s upended into an odd poppiness, chirpy and bright. Autobahn-period Kraftwerk must surely have been a key influence. Fender Rhodes electric piano is shadowed by melodica, as the experimental becomes infused with hummable content.
The dominance of particular instruments is evolving at any given time. Suddenly there’s a shimmering tambourine embellishment, and then there’s an apocalyptic break into extreme minimalist analogue rupture. This heralds phase two, a further 10 minutes of marimba and vibraphone pulsing, where the precedent has surely been set by Steve Reich. Then, the piece disintegrates once again into sparse electro-stress.
It’s inevitable that the remaining five tracks will be concise by comparison. Glass Museum revolves around a cycling twang-riff, breaking into a swift canter. This is one of the rare occasions when a vibraphone phrase can be termed “bullish”. Hard edges surround The Taut and Tame, its runaway momentum supplied by a slithery bassline and determined snare drum. Subliminal synth rotor-blade effects are employed to skew any aural complacency. (BBC Music review)