Saturday, 17 November 2007

vert:x - a.f.m.o.m.a.h.e.


“It’s a bit like a cross between Hawkwind and Can” explained Neil of vert:x when sending through this 40-minute CD-R. Well, yes, there is that comparison to be drawn and I also hear a bit of Pressurehed circa Infradrone in its make-up. Neil also suggests that it’s something of an ‘acquired taste’ and I part company with him on that as I crank up the volume and find it immediately impressive. The title track tells you an enormous amount about what to expect here, ‘a floating mass of metal and heavy electricity’, and it certainly delivers in spades.

This is an instrumental album with driving bass and grinding guitars and an industrial overlay, think heavy-duty space-freighters drilling a hole through the fabric of time/space reality and you’ve got something of the abrasive vibe of the music. It takes the jamming around a single theme from krautrock and gives it a sci-fi overtone, sort of sounding like an elongated middle-eight from an early 70s Hawkwind gig. There’s a familiar drone to the tracks with nothing particularly standing-out in distinction from the rest, the same tone and metre employed, but that in turn gives it a hypnotic feel – play it at high volume whilst driving quickly on a darkened motorway and you’ll play right into its buzz and atmospherics.

That consistency of texture applies even to ‘Space Junk’, credited as vert:x v/s s.t.s, which features guitar and sax from Niko Potocnjak and Lovro Zlopasa from Croatian band and self-styled freak-out commune Seven That Spells. The sax gives the clue that something different is happening here whilst the flow of the track is still right into the groove of the surrounding music. So, although broken into seven tracks (eight as I played them but I’m not clear whether that’s an additional ‘hidden’ track or an additional one on my copy) it’s real fair to see this as one cohesive whole.

I was most suitably impressed – and will play this one lots.

vert:x at Myspace
Buy at CD-Baby

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