A horrible hack

Guardian Alien

Spiritual Emergency

Year Released: 2014
Format: LP
Label: Thrill Jockey
Reviewed by Captain Fidanza on Jan 25, 2014
As fortune would have it, I’ve just finished watching, “Beware of Mr. Baker” the extraordinary documentary about the mad drummer from Cream. Having just spent the last 93 minutes in his company, I get the impression Ginger Baker would approve of this album very much, featuring as it does, an extremely complex drum pattern which underlies much of the first nine minutes and fifty four seconds – the fact said rhythm sounds as though it’s being played out with two pencils on the side of a school desk, would no doubt please him still further.

Now back to Gene Krupa’s syncopated style, shortly.

Following a sonic barrage and what sounds like sections of Endtroducing played sideways, the album moves slowly through some grinding, electronic drone before we get on to the meat of the issue – the twenty minute title track, a chaotic piece of music which once again has at it’s centre some quite unearthly drumming.

Now going back to forty years, of Chick Webb.

This is a great record, which recalls, in my mind at least, an astonishing album someone bought me about twenty years ago featuring a Krupa/Rich drum battle and which features a brilliant yellow explosion on the cover alongside photographs of the two masters laughing like bastards.

I know these days most people stick their arse in the air whenever anyone mentions Prog, but this here album seems to skirt and flirt with it for almost it’s entire running time. I’ve spoken before about Magma, well this album seems to be feeding from a similar trough as their peerless MDK, although the lack of a French lunatic jabbering like Pazuzu has replaced his soul allows for a more focused appreciation of the incredible musicianship on show. And incredible it certainly is.

Thanks to Gene Palma.

Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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