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

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

David Bedford - The Rime of the Ancient Mariner – I never had the pleasure to hear this album when it was still only available on LP. The transfer to CD is fine, the noise is not disturbing this time. The subject of the album is the famous poem from...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues