Exposé Online banner

Beyond-O-Matic — Relations at the Borders Between
(Trail Records 014, 2013, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-12-04

Relations at the Borders Between Cover artThe last time I heard Beyond-O-Matic was with Sonic Reclaimator back in 1998. One thing that's changed in the intervening years is that the music is no longer completely improvised. While there seems to be a lot of improvisation involved, there are some actual songs here, like with lyrics and everything. When done right, space rock has a hypnotic quality that can transcend the seeming simplicity of the music. There aren't tons of notes, time signatures don't change often, and phrases are repeated large numbers of times. It's the polar opposite of math rock. But, like I said, when done right, it really works, though like any style, there are detractors. Some bands that have got it right at least some of the time are Ozric Tentacles, Hidria Spacefolk, and Hawkwind, plus any number of classic German bands like Ashra (adding to or subtracting from this list is left as an exercise for the reader). To my ears and cerebral cortex, Beyond-O-Matic hits the mark pretty well on Relations at the Borders Between. All but two of the tracks are over ten minutes in length, and all fall into grooves that could be called mid-tempo, but there's enough going on that that near-endless riffs elicit dreamy calm rather than fidgety impatience. The vocal parts are well done, too, with catchy melodies and trippy lyrics. Keyboard sounds are massive and filled with satisfying slow phase shifts. Perhaps oddly, there are no prominent solos, guitar or otherwise, like you usually find in these situations, so this is a far cry from the noisy indulgence of Acid Mothers Temple. It's a little like what might have happened if Porcupine Tree had stuck with the early psychedelic style instead of veering towards metal and shorter songs. Good stuff — seek it out.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Beyond-O-Matic

More info
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/beyondomatic1

Latest news

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - Periferic 2000 Folk-World-Ethno from Hungary – Concurrent with Periferic’s second space/prog rock compilation comes another collection of Hungarian folk/ethnic music. Whereas last time they featured many groups with a slightly modern bent, whose...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues