It had to happen. Having wowed us so spectacularly with Super Furry Animals, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and their overhauling of glam and prog, it was never going to be long before top Welsh imprint Ankst uncovered yet more native talent, and accordingly, selected another unsuspecting age-old genre they could unleash it on.
This week: Krautrock. Sort of. Your hosts are the crazed dudes of Ectogram; who don’t so much carefully subvert Germanic noodlings as break into their local school’s music department and run riot with them for ages. And then a bit longer.
This is a colossal tinkle-fest of a debut, which starts out with the rumble of a vacuum cleaner and erupts into a series of open-ended improv jams – including prog-rock monastery chants (“This Is How It Is”), a befuddling bilingual tribute to Syd Barrett (“Syd – who’s a bit of a spiritual forefather here) and numerous other instinctively fused organic grooves.
Things – though they’re not exactly great – are at least unfamiliar. Wrer you to suggest they were a bit like Mercury Rev as folk-obsessives with a mystic Celtic grandma on vocals, you’d be fairly close. But what Ectogram are up to is continuing a tradition of resourceful and somewhat odd Welsh music; the “in” sound from way, way out… through a valley, up several large hills and into a strange spiritual spot only normally inhabited by a goat, three druids and Julian Cope.
Definately not reggae. (6)
(N.M.E., 20.07.96)