February 25, 2011

FOLLAKZOID - "Follakzoid" 12"EP (Sacred Bones)

  Sacred Bones' insanely consistent, and ever-growing twelve inch series continues, with a solid debut from Santiago's Follakzoid.The band formed in Chile in 2007, after pulling their eclectic musical tastes together under one roof, and jamming for hours on end.The SB site says this: "The first time they jammed together they played non- stop without speaking for two hours and were seemingly over taken by a trance without any clear reference point." I'm always fascinated by this kind of immediate connection between strangers.It's a connection that is fueled by a natural chemistry between the players, it's an electrifying, positive energy that fills the room when things just work, and you just go with it.The urgency their epic first meeting has a strong presence on this record.

  Side one hits the ground running, with a track called "IV, III, II, I" a driving, spaced out tune that's built up around a steady, motorik drum beat that recalls krautrock legends like NEU! and Can.Shifting buzzing guitars are phased in and out, and the tones mysteriously weave throughout left and right channels at random.Fragments of riffs break off into tiny pieces and scatter throughout the song.The rhythm section is tightly syncopated, and sounds somewhat robotic at times.Some of this sounds similar to the krauty groove of label mates Mood Duo, but Follakzoid have got their own blend of early krautrock and deep psych wizardry going for them.There are faint and distant voice samples mumbling just below the music, giving the track some extra depth and a bit of mystery.It's not long until things start to build, as the layers of thick guitars, synths, tambourines and other noise makers pile high.Things finally peak, with an exhilarating jolt of rhythmic bliss, and soon the chaos fades out slowly.

  Arabic-Hash is a completely different vibe altogether.The track fades in with hypnotizing "tribal" drum pattern, and wah-soaked guitar interplay.There's a heavy Eastern influence going on here.It reminds me of the more accessible, beat-driven works by Popol Vuh, and that is a very good thing.Elements of more recent kraut worshiping acts like Turzi and Ghost come to mind, as well. After a few minutes they bump up the tempo, and things really start moving along.A distant and swirling guitar fuzz is laid atop a heavily delayed two note riff , as a deep, thumping kick drum and hi-hat repition, paired with a driving guitar and bass, pushes things into minimalist dance territory.Again, they stack layer upon layer of fuzz and dense chords, and then it all stops abruptly, leaving something resembling a helicopter whirring noise in it's wake.Follakzoid have made an undeniably compelling EP, and are sure to kick start Chile's blossoming psych movement in a big way.I suggest that anyone who's into this sort of thing to pick this up immediately.

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