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Polytoxicomane Philharmonie — Go Ape
(Nasoni 080, 2009, 2CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2011-06-01

Go Ape Cover art

Apparently this is the fourth release by this German five-piece that’s somehow flown under my radar since their 2003 debut. The fact that there are only eight tracks spread across these two 46-minute discs might provide the clue that there are some mighty intense extended jams to be found herein. And psychedelic they are, seemingly with one foot in the 70s and the other foot firmly in the future. In fact four of the cuts are side-long, with most of the others clocking in around the nine-minute mark. The band – all members are identified only by aliases – features guitar, tenor and soprano sax, bass clarinet, bass, keyboards, drums, percussion, and xylophone, with male and female vocals, sometimes harmonizing. Each of the pieces is composed, but allow plenty of space for improvisation and experimentation, and have a definite live feel throughout. Distorted blistering wah-wah guitars scream and burn along with the saxes while the rhythm section is amazingly effective at propelling the sound forward. There are some middle-eastern influences present on a few of the tracks, as well as some sinister sounding vocal exchanges, random spoken parts, as well as jazzy and floating space interludes, but the main thrust is hard-driving peak-power psychedelic rock. Points of reference might include You era Gong, classic Amon Düül II (Wolf City or earlier), and some albums of recent vintage by Motorpsycho. The CD version is packaged in this oversize (for lack of a better term) comic book. A great set, beginning to end.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Polytoxicomane Philharmonie

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