Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit


Flamingods – Sun
18 January 2013, 07:57 Written by David Tate

It would be impossible for me to write this review without making at the very least a slight allusion to the influence Animal Collective has had on this release. You can hear the band’s fingerprints across the album, from the tribal rhythms to the dazed electronics. It was only a matter of time before what could arguably be called the worlds biggest “buzz band” (I shudder typing those words)’s influence could be felt on a new wave of independent releases, and it would be sheer short-sightedness to miss the plethora of vast and varied influences at work here.This is an album built around rhythmic motifs, and whilst there is a slight bias toward the dotted and tribal patterns, the tracks ebb and flow with an abundance of far-reaching styles. African polyrhythms sit next to what can only be described as drunken drum and bass on ‘Kinich Ahau’, while lead single ‘Quesso’ has a decidedly more Asian feel.

This melting pot of rhythms both far-flung and closer to home lends the album the convivial atmosphere of a summit of tribal leaders left to their own devices in Anton Newcombe‘s instrument cupboard. There is a feeling of looseness that permeates the album, leading the listener to think that perhaps these songs were recorded improvised, all in one take, and that at any moment the whole thing could fall apart amidst a clatter of unidentifiable percussion. Instead, there are points throughout the album when the cacophony reaches an exultant climax. These moments, like the apex of the blissfully chaotic ‘Sun’, imbue the album with the feeling you might imagine the participants of a drum circle presume they elicit from passers-by. Perhaps the best track on the album, ‘Taishōgoto’, has a distinctly different approach to the structure of most of the others. The omnipresent percussion and delay drenched yelps are still here, but the looser trial structure is replaced by a Nuggets-esque slice of ’60s psychedelia. The droning chords and glitched out guitar lines come as a real refresher as the album progresses into its second half.

This is not an album that particularly demands your attention. The instrumental layering, whilst loud, is subtle and being a predominantly instrumental affair, it would be easy to switch off and let it wash over you in all of its beautiful clatter. No, it’s not an album that demands your attention. It is however an album that deserves your attention. The complex and dense interplay of all the instruments create beautiful substrata of harmony and rhythm that makes each new listen as rewarding as the last. My one complaint is the lack of definition between songs. Whilst this may be an album that rewards repetition, it is also an album that can fatigue. The sheer volume of instrumentation can sometimes become overwhelming after a few listens, but that only becomes a problem because you will have to give this album a few listens. As far as introductions go, for both band and label, this certainly ranks up there with the stronger.

Listen to the album in full here.

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