Thursday, 6 January 2011

Mugstar - Lime

Let's not even get into New Year resolutions that might include keeping this blog rather more up to date than it has been over the last couple of months; I mean, the resolution is there sure enough and there's a stack of great material that arrived in the last quarter of 2010 that needs a proper addressing and writing up but recently there's been plenty of print work which has rather got ahead in the 'to do' list I'm afraid. For those asking, and 'thank you' because there have been plenty, Festivalized is going through its final editing process and we can very confidently anticipate a publication date during the spring; aside from that there's a few interviews coming up for R2 magazine, and Record Collector readers will hopefully have spotted a number of space rock items that I've reviewed in its pages over the last few months, particularly Esoteric Records' very welcome Here & Now reissues, the In Search Of Hawkwind covers album that I also covered here a few weeks back and a number of Steven Wilson / Porcupine Tree CDs and DVDs among other items of interest to readers here.

But to kick off 2011 here, what better start than to go back and cover one of the best space rock albums of 2010, from a band that managed two album releases last year and most definitely therefore out most, your humble chronicler of the scene among them, to be the busiest working in the genre by a country mile! I didn't get to hear their first offering of the year, ...Sun, Broken..., but received a review advance of their second, Lime, from Important Records and can't really enthuse enough about the four dense and dirty tracks powering across this record.

'Sunburnt Impedance Machine' (what sort of machine?) launches proceedings in a full-on manner, really solid drumming and some driving guitars and keyboard sounds that create a mighty conflagration which gets right into their uncompromising mix of space and kraut rock and burns with a undying sense of primal urgency. Like a lot of In Search of Hawkwind, Lime has a debt to the Nik Turner wing of the Hawkwind sound, promoting weirdness and discordance but there's also the chugging drivability of the Brock approach as well. 'Serra' just seems to go on forever, weaving in and out of its groove, testing out pathways and following its own internal sense of reason, totally absorbing, absolutely mesmeric. 'Radar King' is a total mind-fuck, commanding its share of the disc with military authority before descending into fx loops and then outwards and onwards to experimental adaptations of its original theme before returning to its original process with even more added menace. And 'Beyond The Sun' plays things out with a studied repetition of aching atmospherics that once again demands the comment that this is totally absorbing. I think what 'Beyond The Sun' leaves us with is a reminder that while across this record the power of Mugstar's sound is the predominant force, the brooding mood of unsettling unease is another compelling component of what they are all about.

Important Records
Mugstar Official Website


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