The Free Territory

Cardinal Fuzz (UK) and Feeding Tube Records (USA) release Dead Sea Apes – ‘The Free Territory’ on May 17th as vinyl only via 500 Pressing – presented in a 350gsm Card Sleeve with download code.

It has been a genre hopping roller coaster of a ride for Manchester’s finest purveyors of epic guitar music recently. The last three albums the dub-inspired ‘Sixth Side Of The Pentagon’, the  retrospective ‘Recondite’ and the stunning Adam Stone collaboration ‘Warheads’ were all unique in their own way and demonstrated the bands’ capacity for variety and also a willingness to explore new areas.

This new album is described as follows-

“their darkest, moodiest work to date, their characteristic unfolding instrumentals now cast in lonesome drones and haunted atmospherics”. 

“The Free Territory” is Dead Sea Apes’ in more experimental territory characterised by more introspective/darker feel. Repetition is the key word, with loops, evolving textures and improvisation developing over lengthy pieces.  The usual line-up of  guitar, bass and drums is not the focal point, there are side steps to more laminal synthesized passages. Early Cabaret Voltaire, german electronica and something close to frippertronics, can be heard in some of the tracks. Conversely nods to Earth, notably Dylan Carlson’s solo work, and Sunn 0))) seep through the walls of sound in others. At the heart though is the trade mark DSA mix of riff based music, hypnotic and meditative in parts, and progressive in others, this is a welcome addition of to an already impressive canon of work.

The new release also represents a transitional phase for the group, having been partly recorded with departing bassist Nick Harris.  Nik Rayne of The Myrrors dropped in on a winter visit to the UK, not only guesting on two tracks but also creating the beautifully detailed copier collage sleeve art.

 

Highly recommended.

Suggested parallel listening

  • Cabaret Voltaire – Mix-Up and The Voice of America
  • Miles Davis – Black Beauty
  • Spirit – Future Games : A Magical Kahauna Dream
  • Tangerine Dream – Zeit
  • Robert Fripp – Exposure
  • Earth – Sunn Amps and Smashed Guitars
  • Dylan Carlson – Conquistador
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