Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Kemialliset Ystävät - Kemialliset Ystävät

Self-titled/untitled 2007 album from this Finnish collective. Psychedelic is the only word for this - gloriously trippy and mangled. There is a real organic, homespum feel to this music; as if it was conjured out of homemade instruments and recorded onto a walkman. There is obviously some heavy effects work, but it all sounds so natural. At times it sounds like just about every instrument that exists was used - all at the same time: there is a woozy, lurching, deranged and cacophonous non-structure driving each track along with some inverted wood-elf logic, which is no logic at all, but sounds wonderful. Bubbling, burbling wobbly noises pootle about, over garbled mong vocals and cast-off Magic Band runs played on improbable stringed instruments, while some elaborate pump-driven mystical noise generator flings out squelches and belches. If this all sounds a bit improv, the tracks are held together with a driving harmonic unity and sense of euphoric glee, just about kept under control.
Excellent, beautiful, and very weird.
Recent album Ullakkopalo is also excellent, so buy that. Both albums are still available on vinyl, too (Norman Records in the UK)- I recommend Ullakkopalo as it has some excellent artwork on the sleeves.


Monday, 21 March 2011

Blue - Mexican Church

A dark and classy electronica album from 1996. This was released on the venerable Andrew Weatherall's Emissions Audio Output label, and other than that I know very little about these chaps.
This draws heavily from industrial (and) dub sources, which is perhaps why it has dated better than most of the electronic music from 1996 - foregoing the crispy drums machines and crystalline synths in favour of a more murky and sludgy concoction. Some of the melodies remind me of Coil, which is probably why I like this album so much: the synths at the end of 'Gorgon', for example. There's nice use of backwards sounds, and slightly pitch-bent lines which inject that element of queasy psychedelia. They don't entirely abandon danceability, though - there are some squelchy bass breakbeat groovers ('Dark Blue', 'Lower') for the more mogadon discoteques. Weirdly, last preoper track 'Sand Stone' is a decent example of the more chirpy IDM sound of '96, and although it's good, I prefer the darker areas the rest of the album deals with.