Spacemen 3’s Pete “Sonic Boom” Kember appeared on Julie’s Haircut’s 2006 album After Dark, My Sweet, and that year they also worked with Can’s Damo Suzuki. Such collaborations explain a lot about their commitment to The Drone and The Groove.
There are plenty of both on this, their follow-up to 2013’s Ashram Equinox. Expect freeform compositions based on trancey repetitions that build with mantric intensity. Luca Giovanardi has compared the six-piece band’s approach to the improvisatory extrapolations of Miles Davis and the 70s German krautrockers. Opening epic Zukunft is slow-motion motorik, wah-wah freakout and squalling sax, like if The Stooges relocated to Düsseldorf. Orpheus Rising, the title alluding to Kenneth Anger’s (oc)cult 60s classic, is filled with the dread and menace of America’s counterculture, but it’s also suffused with present tension. Deluge is well-named, all onrushing guitars flooded with feedback and scree. The music here is mainly instrumental but on Gathering Light there are “vocals” – more like whispered entreaties, really, over mesmeric organ swirls, with intimations of, well, invocations and ritual dances of the sinister if not demonic variety.