Sunday, February 05, 2012

Nackt Insecten - Reality Bridge

Nackt Insecten - Reality Bridge
Blackest Rainbow Records. LP

For the English a snow storm lasting thirty minutes is enough to trigger apocalyptic headlines and a shortage of rock salt deep enough to give local councilors a restless nights sleep. Its snowing outside as I write and I know that even a depth of an eighth of an inch is going to be enough to stop me from seeing Midwich play in Leeds tonight. A journey of around 10 miles laid waste by a flurry of snow. I know I’m pathetic and that I should pull on my stout walking boots and head out of the door chin first into the tumult like Scott of the Antarctic but when given a straight choice between a night in with a bottle of Rioja, some glowing coals, a Porter Wagoner LP, today's Guardian, some freshly made vegetable soup, crusty bread, butter, salt, pepper, the cat, Mrs Fisher against the chance of being stranded in Leeds then … sorry Rob.You wait years and years for the return of the mighty Midwich only for the first significant snowfall of the year to bomb it like an avalanche. Bugger.

Tonight then I shall drown my sorrows in front of the glowing coals with the help of a bottle of the aforesaid Rioja and [after the Wagoner] another luxurious infusion of the latest Nackt Insecten LP.

I’ve been indulging in the new Nackster for a couple of weeks now and to say its pulled me out of a moribund hole is something of an understatement. Its as if I’ve been acting the Terry Waite part for ten years when along comes the jailor and chucks me the keys to a DB8 and says ‘here you go lad take her for a spin’. And deep, deep down I’d been hoping that this was going to be a drone album and a drone album it is. With massive knobs on. Not that I disliked Nackt Insecten’s past noise works [and not being familiar with the previous Quantum Odyssey] but having heard the droning contribution to the recent Pjorn comp I was secretly hoping that what I held was an LP’s worth of an extension of that work and so it proved.

I bumped into Mr. Ruaraidh Sanachan Nackt Insecten in Brighton recently. He’d made the long trip from Scotland and told me he’d been working for WFMU which as jobs go is up there with the best of them [helping out a New York freeform radio station versus sticking your finger up a criminals bum ...] that trip must have had an effect for out goes the noise and in comes the drone. But its not just the drone itself, its the manner of delivery: kissable vinyl, a sleeve that reeks of late 60’s psychedelia, a Led Zeppelin font. Its a nostalgia trip for sure but after getting all grumpy over the last two uninspiring review offerings this has come at just the right time.

There are no duds on this album. There are no dead minutes, no areas of murky limbo where your attention wanders. From the first it grips like a warm wet blanket. ‘Solar Plexus Skyscraper’ is all organ swell and dirty granulating overdubs of random key stabs that erupt like volcano plops. ‘Deathcatcher’ is an eastern tinged collaborative affair with finger cymbals, shruti box and twanged  tambura. ‘The Atomic Age’ sees more organ swell but this time with disintegrating top end key abuse that breaks down and dissolves only to emerge again and again. ‘Suicide Overdrive’ is the choicest cut of all - a chugging Motorik monster of a driving beat complete with layered high fret guitar wank that has me in mind of Neu!, Chris Carter, Tangerine Dream and the lords of Leeds, Ashtray Navigations. Its incessant beat never deviating, a relentless beast that lolls round until its eventual and unwelcome collapse.

Easily the best release to pass through these hands this year and the one most likely to be still being played when the snows return in November.


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