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Monday, September 06, 2010

GALA DROP

A couple years ago I wrote about an awesome Portuguese band called Gala Drop.

The link seems to have long-since disappeared from the FACT site - pah! but fear not: I will reprint the article here on this site in a few days and it'll almost certainly appear in an augmented / expanded version in Skullfood - my (eventually) forthcoming book of articles / interviews w/ assorted sub-underground artists (you're supposed to cheer at this point! Yes, yes, of course you're going to buy it; fill up my comments-box with drooling fanboy miasma, etc, etc).

To cut a long story short, I thought their debut LP was wonderful. It ticked a whole bunch of Fifth World Music boxes that I felt needed ticking at the time - and still do - (interesting to hear the 5W term getting picked up a couple times on the internet; and did I see it in Wire too? It's kind of an obvious n slightly cheesy term, but - well - sorry, but I got dibs on it.)

Well, anyway...they have a new 12" EP out very soon...Nelson from G D has just sent me some mixes of the new tracks and IT IS FUCKING FABULOUS!

No, really: it is seriously good.

"OVERCOAT HEAT" is less overtly, errm, Can-ish, but keeps that beautifully spacious, dubbed-out flavour G D perfected on their first wave of recordings. Fluid, light-fingered, skipping drum-work and liquid bass grooves; oodles of percussion and gtr arpeggios: like some weird fusion of Post-Punk dance and Latin/4th World Rock. With echo-boxes.

"IZOD" is just...woahhh! It starts off kinda Kraftwerk-with-a-swing meets Cosmic Disco: ooooh and when the percussion n drums come in: hairs sit up on my arms. Patrick Crowley goes off-road, deep down into the Amazon rain-forest. Gently pumping synthbass; just beautiful. I can't wait to play this out; I just know people'll be going: "What is...this...?"

"RAUZE" has some weird / vague afterecho of Cluster/Harmonia synthlines sitting behind / beneath it, but with acres of rattling / tinkling percussion and echobounced drums; it zigzags / transports itself through a series of percussive vignettes / episodes. Wailing vocals drop in and out, meshing with the keys.

"UNTITLED" starts with mutant bird-call sounds and a loping bass-gtr / drum-bounce, wooden percussion, layered keys and an intermeshed gtr-line...it kinda shimmers and glimmers. More forest.funk. Sunlight, a canopy of trees; log-drums, drum-synthesisers. The last minute or so sounds like, I dunno, like bits of it could've been recorded simultaneously in both the 70s and early 80s...

The band stretch out more on this release; they sound more confident, more assured...I hope they can continue to hold their nerve, keep ploughing on, growing.

There's a lightness, an airiness to most of the production. Like Eli / Gentleforce's recent album - which is miles away in terms of style - there's an honesty of intent about Gala Drop's music. They're just doing their thing and. most importantly, I believe them.

I'm not kidding, you really can't fake this kind of thing. I hear things, year in / year out, that - if you believed their accompanying PR-blurbs - purport to be this kinda music - some fantastic fusion of this n that. But when you listen it's always hollow and kinda shit.

Sure, I know I get kinda carried away and over-hyperbolic sometimes, but I can't help what I like. And I like this.

I like being a fan of stuff. And I make no apologies for that.

Anyway, I was v. chuffed for the band when Nelson told me: "We are going to play two shows in New York; one on September 10th in Chinatown, at a No Ordinary Monkey party organized by Golf Channel’s mentor Phil South; and then on September 11th at The Beach Concerts in Governors Island, invited by Panda Bear."

So, if you're in NY on the 10th / 11th of this month, then please go check 'em out.

The EP drops on Golf Channel Recordings in the States and on the band's own Gala Drop Records elsewhere.

Then - coincidentally or maybe not - the mighty Jon Galkin from DFA Records mails me last night about Gala Drop and says: "Remember 2 years ago u gave me their CD? Well..." He mentions the Panda Bear show and then says - and I guess I'm allowed to say this out loud - that they'll be putting out a dance twelve from Tiago (one of Gala Drop)...

Seriously, I'm soooo damn pleased that this band is starting to get the attention they deserve.

Somethings are just, you know, organic.

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