Debut album from the still-going-strong DMST - scary to think that this came out way back in 1998. I saw them on tour shortly after at the Garage in Islington - the refurb of which I still have yet to see. I don't think I've heard all their output since, and the other albums I've heard have been decent, especially the new one; but none have bettered this. A lot of post rock albums in the intervening years are quite obviously influenced by other post rock, but this still has loads of influences from all over the shop. Like a lot of similar albums this has a strong dub element, with bass-led melodies, as well as references to post punk/industrial experimentalists; soundtracks, and prog/space rock. This music is also completely comfortable rolling along at a very slow pace, and letting the compositions unfold in their own time. Opener '1978' rumbles along for 9 low slung minutes before a guitar melody comes in. 'Highway 420', probably my favourite, is a definite throwback to the 70s - opting for a 'Wish You Were Here' style intro of shimmering synths which ushers in some space-country style guitar twanging; then a sax joins in, and the track becomes something like 1973 Gong stretched out to a 10th of its speed before dissolving into the ether in a blissful haze. It's not entirely laid back - 'Dr. Hooch' lays down a thundering and pretty menacing groove of strident bass, with alien attack siren synths cutting though the mix to slightly fry your brain. Later on, 'Disco & Haze' explodes with fuzz and wah guitar.
Another refreshing aspect of this album is that it steered away from the consciously epic crescendos of a lot of other instrumental and Constellation bands; relying on great grooves, tuneful embellishment and finely recorded analogue sounds to make its case. Terrific stuff that I've listened to countless times over the years.
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