Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Forget the Times - Escape from the Planet of the Llamas (Already Dead)

ftt barrier

Like a skronk version of Tortoise's Seneca or Eight Cognition from Six Organs of Admittance's School of the Flower, the :58 seconds of Early Morning Rabbit Hole heralds the arrival of Escape from the Planet of the Llamas, the most recent endeavour from Kalamazoo, Mi's Forget The Times. Of course, any band that lists Captain Beefheart, U. S. Maple, Derek Bailey, and The Dead C is probably not gonna give it up so easily, and they quickly dismantle the groove after the funky breakbeat opening of Ponchos and Python Boots. These young men are clearly the type who enjoy the unknown, experimentation, exploration, unexpected surprises and happy accidents.
Let me brief and to the point: you better fucking like improvised music, to give this one a spin. Luckily for me, (and for you), i do, and have invested a few hours this week, getting into the intricacies of these 8 tracks, and have found the experience to be reward, rather invigorating, i must say, a blast of fresh air, so to speak. The patient listener, the adventurous ears, are rewarded with moments of real fucking beauty here, like personal favorites Beausoleil Moon Frye (which gets my vote for song title of the year, so far) or Deinonychus Dreamland, either of which could be a Mogwai guitar work-out, with a ragged backbeat. But over the course of an hour, you will be subjected to funky breakbeats, guitar sturm and drang freak-outs, even the odd moment of humor, like the strange oompah cacophany of Flying V Gtr Made of Real Live Honking Geese which is another excellent name for a track. What really is the saving grace for this album is that these are clearly 4 experienced and sensitive musicians and improvisers, listening closely, and allowing the music to dodge and weave and warble and waft, soar and plummet, ready to dive into whatever challenge or nook or cranny or whatever that may present itself at each turn of the dime.
What is the utterly best thing, for me, about this release, is an exciting de-fibrillation of vital organs of adventurous musicks that have gotten soft and saggy and stale over time. They are able to employ the beauty that we all loved about Post-rock with its symphonic guitars, without resorting to a generic loudQUIETloud cliche, or the anything goes spirit of jazz that seems to have fled, or at least fled underground, for a long long time now.
Let me be blunt, one last time: i fucking love these musicks, and it is a crying goddam shame to see them get so stale and bland and marginalized. I cheer! yes cheer! to see d00ds from Michigan, breathing some fucking life into these Exquisite Corpses.

"The Goal of Our Music is for each player to reach that point [where they lose themselves in the music] every time we play and to maintain that feeling as long as possible." -Sean Hartmann

Escape from the Planet of the Llamas can be had for a measly buck, off their bandcamp, or like a fiver from their very own Already Dead cassette imprint, which appears to have pretty sweet packaging too.

Escape from the Planet of the Llamas coverOn the . . . DL

bandcamp: http://forgetthetimes.bandcamp.com/

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