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19 April 2009

Agitation Free - 'Malesch' (IRI)

Source: Ross, 22 May 2002, about $5.

This is the sound of six hairy Germans holed in a Berlin recording studio, conveying Orientalist sounds of psychedelic excess with maximum shimmer. Notes bend and bongos pulse but it holds to a center, while guitar tentacles merge with synth butter to make one of the best records of the genre. The cover art and the samples of the Middle Eastern street market really help to set the vibe of this album, but the melting organ swells and distant crying voices also drench this in desert sun. I wonder if this was actually recorded while Berlin was covered in snow. When the groove sets in these dudes don't let the mellow buzz their harsh; the drones are deep and the guitars continue to pierce. Maybe it's just my French pressing but the recording is a bit dull - I want the sounds to leap out and grab me but everything sounds slightly murky, like it's under a thick cloud. Maybe it's just the pot smoke.

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