Goat – World Music (Rocket Recordings)
World Music, two words that when together usually have me reaching for the off button, not that I’ve got anything against music from other cultures but ‘world music’ usually indicates something that Andy Kershaw would be frothing over and everyone else thinks is just some bunch of guys rhythmically banging some tupperware.
But as the title of the debut album from Swedish bonkers seven piece collective Goat, it fits perfectly as describing an album of sounds that has its heart pretty much spread all over the planet! Psych, krautrock, funk, folk, jazz and African rhythms can all be found here in a dazzling, if short, storm of music that has been one of the first albums this year to really make me sit up and take notice. Its use of pretty much every instrument you can think of, and more, also adds to its global quality, squealing wigged out guitar riffs butt up against tablas and saxophones to produce a joyous cacophony that is virtually impossible to sit still to and not whack up the volume and start dancing round your house!
Imagine, if you will, a strange universe where Can, The Go! Team, Grails, Comets on Fire, Alexander Tucker and A Hawk and A Hacksaw are all trapped in a room with an infinite array of instruments and a large helping of psychedelics. It would not be a huge stretch of the imagination to see this album as the result of such a get together.
It starts off with “Diarabi”, whose eastern sounding intro really brought Grails to mind. It then gradually builds with a guitar riff to which whirling dervishes would find fitting to their circulatory desires! This leads into a spoken word sample introducing the suitably animalistic “Goatman”, the first of three “Goat” tracks on the album, “Goathead” immediately after and “Goatlord” the penultimate track of the record. Not sure what the goat fascination’s all about but as one of the band claims to be the eleventh son of a voodoo priest we should probably just gloss over it!
The squalling, heavily effected guitar sound of these two tracks, especially “Goathead” touch on the mad, free-forming noise of Comets on Fire but add a deep down funkiness of a floor rattling bass line. This is an album that needs to be played above average volume to really appreciate it, so, sorry neighbours![youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keAwK766Ek0]
Fourth track is the inappropriately named “Disco Fever”. No disco I ever went to played music like this, mind you I’ve never been out dancing in Kinshasa! Afrobeat, meandering Hammond organ and sounding nothing like a Saturday Night Fever track, I can’t imagine a white suited Travolta getting down to this!
“Golden Dawn” starts off sounding a bit like early nineties “world fusion/ethno-techno” outfit Transglobal Underground but then quickly changes with the addition of that throbbing bass again.
It then goes all Go! Team with “Let It Bleed”, jangly guitars, tom-toms and half way in a funky scuzzed up riff is joined by a modern jazz style sax solo that would normally have me running in the opposite direction but the glorious whole just has me nodding and bopping away!
The hypnotic tabla rumble of “Run To Your Mama” is an almost too brief two and a half minute delight that appears to end just as it’s getting going and in no time we are into “Goatlord”, whose guitar solo sounds very Warren Ellis in his Grinderman role.
Completing this rather fantastic album is my favourite track, the hypnotic organ melodies of “Det Som Aldrig Förändras/Diarabi” an extended coda to the opening track serving to close what is fast becoming one of my favourite discoveries of the year.
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