5 Oct 2019
NEOLYD reviews The Utopia Strong and Julie's Haircut's albums
The Utopia Strong
Meet a snooker legend, an ambient electronic musician and a psychedelic rocker at the bar: what sounds like the beginning of an old man joke, is rather the terabe, astonishingly everyday startup story of Utopia Strong .
Steve Davis, Michael J. York (Coil, Teleplasmiste) and Kavus Torabi (Gong, Cardiacs, Knifeworld) hung out together at the Glastonbury Festival in 2017, discovered their common musical preferences and formed a band whose debut albumnow rooted in between the Proto-Ambient of the Seventy and the Frickelbeats of the Nineties. The result sounds surprisingly little herbaceous rehearsal room, but rather after the cooldown of a relaxed rave, on which all have a good taste in music. Sounds and atmosphere surround the listener in part like the favorite blanket, from which one knows exactly how the familiar texture on the skin feels. Sometimes, however, you are suddenly in some underground club on the dance floor, around it flickering lights and bodies.
This field of tension makes "The Utopia Strong" too bulky to hear it by the way. Instead, concentration and attention are required, but they are well invested here because of the wealth of ideas and bandwidth.
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Oh, what a lovely noise, what a balm for the ears. (Previously, the reviewer went through the fifteen-minute radio hell while showering - including "Wind of Change"). And occasionally two minutes are enough to stay forever. Even if the remaining songs on "In The Silence Electric", already the ninth album of the Italian psychedelic combo Julie's Haircut , would be total garbage, it would still be "Emerald Kiss". Come to stay - monolithic, scary, unfathomable. Crushed perfection.
The noise consists - explicitly and superficially - of a kind of guitar noise, which is contrasted with a subtly solitary lead guitar, with a subsequent saxophone improvisation from five minutes. The perfect symbiosis of the early Moon Duo and Complicated Universal Cum (especially "Before F After C"), the solo project Frederik Valentins.
The following "Until The Lights Go Out" - as if that was not enough of the good - reminds in its dynamics - regarding rhythm and repetition - strongly of "The Rip" by Portishead. Also this EBMige / moogige bass running, which makes the song sound somehow driven ... also "The Rip", but still (and especially because of) an excellent piece of music history. Welcome to the "herbaceous" Noise Canon! The other seven songs are certainly no less noteworthy, no question, but sometimes just enough two songs to inspire completely. Unconditional listening recommendation!
See here: NEOLYD