Diagonal: The Second Mechanism

Totally bonkers and yet utterly captivating.

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You could be fooled into believing that Diagonal are so daft that they exist in their own parallel musical universe. But this is to unfairly criticise a band who offer an extraordinary range of styles and timbres here, on an album that starts and ends with the sound of water.

In between, there are five tracks, each of which is lengthy and full of twists. So, you can get enchanted by some jazzy pilgrimages before they turn to more psychedelic and folky passages, as Diagonal comfortably jump across the genres.

At no point do they allow you to relax into the music, though, because there’s a restive sense of progression. Occasionally, it borders on being perplexing, and there are times when you expect everything to shudder to a halt, but miraculously, the band always remain on track.

Mostly an instrumental record, The Second Mechanism owes something to Gong, a little more to The Soft Machine and even a nod to Return To Forever. Ultimately, though, it’s fascinatingly surreal.