Kohoutek - Jurad (Black Vinyl) CARDINAL FUZZ 14 LEFT
Pre-Sale - 23rd April
Release Date - 28th May
350 Pressing - Black Vinyl
115 For Europe.
Europe - Cardinal Fuzz
N.America - Feeding Tube Records
While they have released a decent number of cassettes & CDs, Jurad is only the fourth vinyl album released by this long-running DC-to-Philly-based space-juggernaut. Recorded by a quartet iteration of the always mutating ensemble, the music on this one veers between the kind of psych-prog wallow for which Kohoutek is most often celebrated, and the less formally rockoid improvisational proclivities they sometimes display.
The session for Jurad went down at Philadelphia's Sex Dungeon studio in 2012 and resulted in three long tracks. The shortest one, “Cosmic Grease,” opens the B side in classic Kohoutek style. John Stanton's guitar balances on the cusp of scum and space, spewing fat raw gobs of string-urk across a thick steady surge of circular bass/drum/synth hunch. A pretty nice way to fire it up. “Double Star” follows with electro-squigglage sluiced amidst much more delicate guitar filigree, a lighter rhythm section pulse and drones of presumed synthetic origin. It has a bit of Germanic feel, along the lines of UA-era Popol Vuh or something. Like taking a deep breath of night air during an electrical storm.
The first side is comprised of “Tidal Disruption,” a rather different kettle of sonic chub. From the first notes of synth buck and string buzz, this one slides sideways with reckless abandon, before diving into a pool of tranquil long tone improvisation, with what sounds like small tractors demolishing a farm house in the distance. As the piece progresses, this far-off destruction resolves itself into a slow drum pulse, fluid bass lines and a wash of synth abstraction. The pace slowly increases and then slows again as “Tidal Disruption” slowly fades into dream time, wrapping up like a beautiful trip, well taken.
Very sweet smoke, we're sure you'll agree.
The comet Kohoutek was first seen near earth by a Czech astronomer in March of 1973. David Berg, founder of religious cult Children of God, predicted its passing would cause armageddon the following year. A more welcoming family, the Sun Ra Arkestra, performed a concert dedicated to Kohoutek on December 12th, just two weeks before it came as close to our globe as it ever would. All of this could be insignificant trivia surrounding the name that Philly-by-way-of-D.C. band Kohoutek chose for itself. But somewhere in between all those early-'70s deductions, interactions, and overreactions might just live the keys to this group's expanding music. Inside their open, winding, slow-burning soundscapes lies the hard-edged reality of cosmic science, the hypnotic magic of mass-mind superstition, and the infinite paths of Saturn-bound outer spaceways. On Jurad, that solar-seeking mix manifests as two spacious, patiently-developing LP sides. The music has the everything-works spirit of improvisation, but Kohoutek are just as curious about shapes and forms, equally interested in seeing which lines they can color inside and which they can bend and break apart. Guitars pick through the thickly-textured sonic space built by electronics and percussion, unafraid to knot or tangle, yet nimble enough to find gaps where others might blur. The rhythmic curves traced by bass and drums prove as apt for psych-drenched heaviness as they are for cloudier foundations. One side floats forward and backward and sideways until it wraps around space-time; the other melds sparks of feedback and distortion into metal lumber so hard you can touch it through your speakers. Along the way, Kohoutek conjure the ghost of their daunting live shows, which trek through so much aural territory it's a wonder you can still make out the band by the end. To call these two fully-realized explorations 'journeys' would be fair but insufficient. There are paths here that Kohoutek gradually move through, but that motion has the rare, intangible quality of sounding both spontaneous and guided, both new and determined. In other words, throughout the spaces which they travel on Curious Aroma, Kohoutek might not necessarily know where they're going, but they sure do know how to get there." --Marc Masters
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