FOLLAKZOID: ‘II’


FOLLAKZOID - IIOK – it’s not yet 2013, but I’ll say here and now that I fully expect this album to be nestling comfortably somewhere in my ‘Top Ten Albums of The Year’ come next December.

There! I’ve said it.

FOLLAKZOID are new to me, but not the Psych music scene in general, and I guess Chile in particular … coz that’s where they’re from, see? I know Psychedelia thrived in Chile back in the late Sixties with the more mature beat bands progressing to psych-pop. The music scene then got heavier and more revolutionary before coming to an end in 1973 with General Pinochet’s coup d’etat.

FOLLAKZOID began in Santiago, Chile from what they describe as the result of, “a product of a trance experience between friends, sort of a soul abduction in which they’ve been living since 2008.” The band is made up of multi-faceted artists: Juan Pablo (bass, vocals) is a producer of the Sangre Fresca Music Festival in Santiago, Diego (drums) is a photograher, Alfredo (synth) is an architect, and Domingo (guitar) is also a filmmaker who just premiered his first feature length movie “Partir to Live”. They believe that there is some sort of gravitational force that makes South America able to dialogue directly with other places, times, and dimensions. The band have all known each other from childhood in Santiago. They take their times recording albums, generally allowing two years in between perfecting their songs with their goal being to make something organic, that breaths on it’s own, which integrates into part of a separate, higher and bigger living organism.

There are five tracks on this latest album, totalling in the region of forty-four minutes. It’s music to really get lost in; quite hypnotic in places.

Album opener ‘9‘ has a definite Krautrock feel to it, reminding me of Neu! in particular with the looped bassline supporting the guitar which rises and falls in tandem with the track’s intensity. ‘Rivers’ retains the distant, reverb-drenched vocals of its predecessor, but this time the guitar is far more considered although the track is perhaps not quite so ‘direct’ in that it kind of  dreamily washes this way and that, led by a shuffling drum beat and enhanced by some Kraftwerk type synths.

‘Trees‘ I think is very much in the mould of the superb Moon Duo. It’s zippy and fast, with a buzzing drone in the background over which a slightly fuzzy guitar flits. Again the vocals are of the hushed, distant kind. As the track whirls through its seven minute duration, a teutonic ‘industrial’ music clanking sound becomes more prominent, rising to a constant level that leaves one wondering if the onset of tinnitus is approaching.

An excerpt from the nine-minute long ‘99′ follows, with its cloisters chanted vocal delivery and repetition making me think along the lines of Dead Skeletons.

A fifteen minute extended version of ‘Pulsar‘ completes the album. This is just ‘epic.’ There’s no other word to describe it! Think of everything good about Krautrock and Psych .. and it’s here, all neatly rolled up into one mammoth track. Bass loops, synth swoops, chugging riffs, wave after wave of rushing cymbals …. it’s all here!

I’m on my hols now ….. this is likely to be top of my playlist as I zone out by the pool! Tremendous!

(Released through Sacred Bones Records on 28th January 2013)

(10 / 10)

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