One would be easily forgiven for having extremely high expectations from Andromelos upon learning the members: Yamazaki Maso (electronics), aka Masonna; Okano Futoshii (drums), drummer extraordinaire from such bands as Subvert Blaze, Ghost, and Nishi-Nihon; and Kawabata Makoto (guitar, organ), needing no introduction I’m sure to readers of this blog.
I’ve seen a couple of brief reviews of this album that seemed disappointed, perhaps expecting an alchemical reaction from this combination of talent resulting in an entirely new genre of music. In reality, the album is precisely what might be expected if you take certain aspects of each member’s careers and blend them. Rather than Masonna’s noise, take Maso’s Space Machine project; rather than Subvert Blaze’s balls-out rock, take Okano’s time with Ghost; and rather than Acid Mothers Temple brain-melting chaos, inject Kawabata’s spacier trips. Then you have Andromelos.
Released by Ektro Records, the CD is presented as two tracks, but they’re really parts 1 and 2 of a single song, jokingly titled “Tea Breaks Are Under Attack From 2300000 Light Years.” After a few minutes of Schulzian synth and organ drones, the first part launches into Cosmic Jokers territory, clattering drums and relatively restrained guitar leads riding electronic waves into distant galaxies. It’s pretty satisfying, I have to say. The second part might not feature Okano at all, or if it does it’s nearly hidden, as things stay on the astral drone-plane for the remainder of the album. I would have liked a bit more rock, of the kraut variety of course, but it’s nonetheless pretty stellar (literally).
It would be fascinating to hear a different collision of these players’ backgrounds, perhaps harsher electronics over barnstorming drums and guitar in a more Mainlinerish vein. You know, something to redefine what “space rock” might mean. But for now, this is still getting a lot of play around here.