Saturday 9 June 2012

Higamos Hogamos - SPACEROCKS

Album review by KevW

Erstwhile genre-hopping experimentalists Steve Webster and Toby Jenkins (Fort Lauderdale, The Black Neon, The Squire Of Somerton) bring us the latest incarnation of their Higamos Hogamos project which thus far has explored krautrock and the vintage electronic sounds first brought to us by the likes of Delia Derbyshire and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Where in the past they've mixed some truly wonderful alt-pop into their retro exploration (see 'Transfusion' for a prime example), here they concentrate on the "70s Berlin school of electronic music".

Needless to say that following that statement the references write themselves. Think Cluster, Can, Tangerine Dream, but more notably the ticking motorik and analogue noodlings of Neu! and most of all, the legendary pioneering work of early Kraftwerk. If you're of the persuasion that the full 23 minute version of 'Autobahn' is a genius landmark in musical history then you're quids in. Prefer 'The Model'? Best look elsewhere. These five tracks are almost entirely instrumental and clock in at a mighty fifty minutes. These are meandering jams that often feel devoid of direction, but nevertheless warm and accommodating.

The choice to avoid digital wherever possible gives these sonic bursts from the past a buzzing and human feel, and while they're buried up to their necks in the seventies, occasionally a hint of modernity creeps in. These have a remarkable amount in common with forty-year-old tracks, but they couldn't quite pass themselves off as such. With the shortest song still being over six minutes long there's not much here for the casual music fan to get their teeth into. As a flashback to innovation of a bygone era however, these recreations make for an interesting voyage.

Higamos Hogamos' website

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