HEY! Get updates to this and the CD and 7" blogs via Twitter: @VinylUnderbite

16 June 2011

The Cosmic Jokers (Kozmiche Musik)

Focused, no; nor are they even a real band! Actually this was a manipulating ploy by a producer to get a bunch of famous Kraut dudes super high and make 'em jam - and then release it as a "super group" and laugh all the way to the bank. What came out was majestic - two side-long jams, of plodding, slowly building guitar epics, washes of synth, occasional vocals, and the haziest atmosphere you could imagine. It's accidentally a true classic, and I think the musicians ended up suing the shit out of this guy, as they should have, but without really failing to thwart the endless stream of reissues. 'Galactic Joke' is the first one, and it's mostly instrumental apart from some muttering at the end. The pitter-patter of the drums sound pretty solid, and on this these Ash Ra members eek out their epic construction. Focused, no, but there's some higher power that prevents more discordant urges from taking over. On the flipside, 'Cosmic Joy' begins on a Popul Vuh vibe, but then clouds approach quickly. Over twenty minutes, the Jokers sketch out another slow, unfolding exploration of murky sonic space, this one less rhythmic and more textural. It climaxes into a tribal fury for brief moments, then pulls back and allows dissonant guitars to come in. The presence and fidelity is distant, obscure; when piercing guitar notes flicker around the edges, it's never close enough to touch. Of course we now know they were just some super high dudes in a (presumably very smoky) room dicking around, but dicking about with their brainwaves locked together due to the shared experience of whatever they ingested. I feel sluggish, yet opened to something, just by listening to it. These are jokers more in a Hagbard Celine way than Monty Python, if you know what I mean; but as the group Krautjams go, this is definitive and masterful, maybe even too much so (for while I do enjoy this, I'll take the weirder and fruitier songforms over the space jams 7 times out of 10).

No comments:

Post a Comment