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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.

CATE LE BON

Cate from "The French Quarter of Cardiff" (apparently). Has connections w/ Gorkys and Super Furry A; nice fuzz gtr; great video.

AIDAN BAKER, ETC

Meditative textured ambidrone from Aidan Baker, who also plays in Post-Metal/Doom/Gruegaze outfit Nadja (or, as they call it, "violent make-out music").