Monday, May 18, 2009

Kassette Kulture #21 - Queen Elephantine - Kailash



This is a fuzzy muscle play of distorted dirge and Hindu atmospherics that easily embodies the slow majesty of bands like Earth, or to a lesser extent, Mono … but this is a rawer, far heavier brew, buckling the confines of the medium, so over-saturated that it almost struggles for definition. The instruments take on a scary dynamic, like a vibrating cloud of flies, distorted in the heat. It’s hard to avoid the magnetic pull of that turbine shackled hertz, or that accompanying tinsel soak from the cymbals, even the words seem to be dragging you through the dusty soil on mystic hooks.

Something about skyscrapers blocking the sun, rivers of glass and footless aspirations to heaven…. drowsy words in the stoner buzz, as stray limbs scar the surface, delectable dislocations matching that beautiful murkiness of the cover art… but it really excels when everything is systematically pummelled, or when the vocal goes off on a devotional pilgrimage, and becomes a rich gravy of moan and clattering commune, coaxed into serpent shadows or stuffed into jackal skins… then it truly gets your appetite racing…

You’d think this sort of transcendence couldn’t be sustained, until the second side bursts forward in explosive field recording, slipping easily into a menacing procession of wounded bass and drum kissed desertion … some lovely re-bounded chords are happened upon and stuck with, blooms alighting from the carcass, amp transformed into a deformed offspring slowly swallowed down stream – textural eye openers that chaff the inside of your skull in a sloth ache psych and trance-eaten sway, repetitive breathe spun.

The tape cools off for the final two tracks in raga blisters, melodious wafers of drum, curling chants and sitar… peeling away the gloom in falling dew and hand spanned illumination.

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