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Deerhoof - The Magic album review

Valiant return of San Francisco veterans Deerhoof

Beholden only to themselves, Deerhoof are many things to many people. For some, they’re the embodiment of music’s carefree impulse, as likely to record a new album during a sleepover in the basement (as was the case with 2014’s La Isla Bonita) as they are to hop up on stage with The Flaming Lips and play a bunch of King Crimson covers (as they did in 2012).

To others, they’re expert soundscapists, creating remixes for the likes of Sufjan Stevens, Asobi Seksu, Xiu Xiu and Wildbirds & Peacedrums. The Magic is the product of another whim, the quartet holing up in an abandoned office space in the New Mexico desert to fashion a vast, deliciously catholic summation of everything they hold dear. Which turns out to be a lot.

In fact, it’s probably easier to list the places this album doesn’t go to, rather than try to make sense of how they combine punk, prog, avant folk, tropicalia, electronica and brutalist noise rock to such stunning effect. The whole thing is given a further twist of strangeness by the disarming tones of Japanese singer/bassist Satomi Matsuzaki. The Magic is likely to leave you breathless, slightly dazed and more than a little rejuvenated.

Deerhoof, Live In Berlin