Monday, 26 August 2013

P For Persia/Speak Galactic - Aegis Arctic Alp

EP review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk


This split EP featuring Brighton noiseniks P For Persia and the same city's similarly-minded experimenters Speak Galactic is as close to a perfect match as you'll get, with both bands on a very similar obtuse wavelength, and both are spurred on by innovation. The two bands are given equal EP space, but this manifests itself in a trio of songs from P For Persia and two from Speak Galactic. It's the former that kick things off with 'Rainbow Flux' which is probably what it sounds like to be trapped inside Wayne Coyne's head. The song is wonderfully kaleidoscopic and poppy with disjointed, contorted sections; imagine modern psych-pop growing up malformed, close to the site of a nuclear disaster. It's warped into unusual new shapes, as is 'St. Luanne' which is adjoined to the opening track so much so that they could be considered as one. As if to make up for this, 'Uncanny Valley' feels like it's two songs. The first half is cosmic, cinematic electro-rock that's shot through like it's just been injected with a massive dose of adrenaline; everything is just a bit too intense (barring the brief ambient pauses) but it works. Then silence. But not for long, as the song reemerges with a tropical slant into colourful but brain-fuzzing alt-pop confusion. It's interstellar stuff.

For their half of the EP (well, even though it's only two songs it actually takes up more than half thanks to an 18-minute psych marathon), Speak Galactic start with the sound of a strange kind of space-orchestra going through a rehearsal where everything is out of sync and the electronics flutter around not knowing where to land. The vocals do much the same; it takes a second to get your head around but it's quite a spectacular sound that's a bit like what would happen if you crossbred Sparks with one of the Blue Meanies from Yellow Submarine and locked them in an instrument shop until they went insane. Then it begins. 18 minutes is a challenge to take in by anyone's standards, but with the madness we've heard so far? This could be an, um, interesting ride. 'Magnified Destiny' starts like reasonably modern psych. You could even mention bands like Tame Impala if they turned up a bit drunk to rehearsal and decided to throw some brass at one of their tracks. There are sections where the song drifts, as if it's a craft without power, floating in space. The mid section might leave your mind doing the same. You could describe it many ways, but none of them would be "eventful". Eventually it remembers it's a song and makes up for the ambient space with an increasingly hectic and of-the-wall collision of instruments. It's a bit like the ending to Pink Floyd's 'Bike' but with more tune. I have no idea what I've just experienced, but it sure was intriguing.





P For Persia's website

Speak Galactic's website

Stream or buy the EP

Catch Speak Galactic live:

Mon 26th Aug - Non-Zeros, Dundee
Tue 27th Aug - Downstairs, Aberdeen
Wed 28th Aug - Bloc, Glasgow
Thu 29th Aug - Gullivers, Manchester
Fri 30th Aug - The Polish Club, Bradford
Sat 31st Aug - Secret North London Venue






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