Shiggajon 'Sela' (El Paraiso Records, 2015)
This Danish sextet (occasionally swelling to as many as 15 participants during live gigs) offers dissonant, polyphonic skronk that should appeal to fans of avant jazz, noise, and improvisational, communal meanderings. As such, this album of two sidelong tracks gets off to a perfect, statement-of-purpose start with the 18-minute ‘Maeander’, a slow burn of violin scraping, maracas-shaking and the odd percussive drum tap that may start to put you into an eternal trance dance or give you a splitting headache – likely a bit of both!
Fans of psychedelic krautrockers Amon Düül (particularly the more adventurous fabricators of Psychedelic Underground and ParadieswärtsDüül) may have more patience with this stuff and be more inclined to tolerate the seemingly endless loop that builds effortlessly and organically to its orgiastic denouement. Others are likely to bail about halfway through Side 1.
But for those adventurous enough to flip the platter over, the 18½-minute title track offers more of the same and feels like a continuation of the improvisatory jam from Side 1. This track has a mellower vibe with shades of Eastern influence, but unless you’re inclined to listen to someone tune their violin for half an hour – or have a never-ending tolerance of those endless Grateful Dead “space” jams, this might not be your cup of herbal tea. Of course, if listening to the musical equivalent of Chinese Water Torture while waiting half an hour for the other shoe to drop provides you with some fetishistic turn-on, then have I got an album for you!
Review made by Jeff Penczak/2015
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