Artists – Dead Sea Apes & Black Tempest
Title – The Sun Behind The Sun
Label – Cardinal Fuzz
Release: December 2012
“Solar Maximum is the first collaboration of Manchester’s Dead Sea Apes and Godalming’s Black Tempest. Fusing Black Tempest’s Kosmiche Synth to Dead Sea Apes otherworldly psych-rock……….. takes both parties into further astral realms.” says the promo and it’s not wrong!
Opener ‘ Grey Alphabets‘ takes a basic four note phrase and repeats it hypnotically over rhythmic pulses and slow arpeggiating synths – menacing, brooding and viscerally compelling the tune builds over 12 minutes into a barrage of laminal sounds – falling away in the last three minutes to a reflective haze of chittering phased synth sounds and sustained notes. The second track on Side A – ‘Wilder Penfield’ continues the mood with serial synthesis interrupted with shards of guitar developing into pulsing motorik rhythms reminiscent of early Tim Blake – Brett Savage conjures a wall of shuddering sound as the rhythm section continues a relentless and hypnotic dance to propel the piece forward
Side B features ‘Heliopause‘, a 20+ minute melange of soaring synthesis, reverbed guitars, pulsing bass and insistent martial percussion which is breathtakingly good. Again Savage uses the guitar to create a range of sounds to support the laminal synthesis – moving from squawling wah-wah to searing echo with ease. About 16 minutes in the pace picks up a tad and the sound gets a little funky through to an extended coda of glissando guitar and ethereal washes of sound lasting a good five minutes. Amazing!
In my review copy is also the non-album mix of ‘Wilder Penfield’ (Penfield’s Mood Organ Mix) which has a heavier synth feel and is an interesting variation on the original version.
The album is due for release in December 2012 (barring a Mayan apocalypse) on limited edition vinyl, (coloured & black) – and limited CD edition.
Highly recommend for lovers of space rock and psyche – once again Dead Sea Apes demonstrate that they are the pre-eminent band in this musical form in the Greater Manchester area.