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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

SULA BASSANA: Organ Accumulator / Disappear (2017)

“Another stunning blend of Berlin School, Koshmik Rock, Space Music and Krautrock makes of this album a must for lovers of EM's golden age”

1 Lichtbündel 7:50 2 Morgentau 4:48 3 The Frogs 5:57 4 Organ Accumulator 7:06 5 Grashamster 4:42 6 Nebelschwaden 9:49Bonus 7 Disappear 10:36 8 Grong 5:06 9 Smoof 6:00 Sulatron Records | ST1702 (CD/DDL 62:03) (V.F.) (Berlin School, Krautrock, Koshmic Rock)

The joys of being a reviewer is to obtain small unexpected jewels. I already spoken to you about Sula Bassana in my review of The Ape Regards His Tail with even the promise that I would write soon to you about Dave Schmidt, the multi-instrumentalist behind Sula Bassana. I was translating my review of The Ape Regards His Tail while listening absently to ORGAN ACCUMULATOR. I already knew that I was going to like it! Released in vinyl format on the Deep Distance label in January 2017, the album was produced in CD format 2 months later on the Sulatron Records label with a bonus section which included the side A of a vinyl made in collaboration with 3 AM in 2014, Disappear-Waves. And you will notice that as additional material, Sula Bassana couldn't find any better to complete the virgin lines of a CD which is simply exceptional.

An ascent of shrill sounds announces Lichtbündel. Elytron of metal, an insistent bass and layers of guitars launch the base of this opening where very quick the music hits a bubble of psychedelic effects. It's at this moment that Lichtbündel starts revealing the charms of ORGAN ACCUMULATOR. The rhythmic is hopping, sat on bass pulsations and on atypical percussions, the ambiences are weaved on the quivering waves of an old organ. Like in the time of Klaus Schulze! Navigating between phases of ambiences with strange flavors of old Babylon and phases of rhythm which skip with more of mordant, Lichtbündel pushes my ears in the vintage years but with a contemporaneousness in the tones which sounds like a very reinvented Krautrock. Morgentau is simply bloodthirsty with its dark rhythm which skips as a walking where the feet float more than they move forward over a delicious carpet of old organ. There is a form of intensity here that one will recognize some listening later. It's a delicious soporific walking, the hits of clogs on the road sound like some used wood, wrapped by a vampiric wave of sounds. The Frogs offers a curt rhythm with percussions as sober as these keyboard chords which are so like those of Rick Wright in the good old days. The bass is good here and solidifies this structure where the psychedelic effects abound with good reverberating effects and strata of synth, or is it guitar, of which the mixture gives a shape of werewolf which is resigned to the only remaining food … frogs. The title-track sounds out of tune here with a very livened motorik structure up which grows by taking the shape of a very good big rock juicy its riffs. Lively, a little bit wild and very unexpected!

Grashamster proposes an introduction in mode ambience, even with these felted percussions which have difficulty to hide a strange murmur and which forge an approach slightly motorik. The rhythm spreads a growth which reaches a velocity noisier than rhythmic with effects and sonic spasms which inhale marginality. And in spite of this aspect, this title pushes away a melody which will show the tip of its notes after some listenings. This is very good! Nebelschwaden ends ORGAN ACCUMULATOR with a slowly stroboscopic approach. One would say a march thought by Vangelis but played by Tangerine Dream and mixed by Steven Wilson. It's slow, like an odyssey towards more or less abrupt tops, with a sound texture as melodious as these songs that we sing non-stop when our body is doing something hard physically. This is very beautiful! It's like if we were stoned to the bone and we are skipping in space with celestial bodies and stars as musicians without borders. And the effect of organ here is more attractive than vicious. As I wrote higher, the album becomes ORGAN ACCUMULATOR / DISAPPEAR with the addition of the face A, Disappear, from the vinyl Disappear-Waves. If Grong is a big juicy and spasmodic Krautrock and that Smoof is a title of funeral ambiences on a slow and mesmerizing rhythm, Disappear is the protruding fact of this bonus set with an attractive delicately stroboscopic structure with its full of distortions from a six-strings as hostile than very ethereal. Layers of voices stick to these oddities of the guitar and of its guttural harmonies, pushing Disappear towards a delirium of moods which ends with a fuming approach just as much lively than a delicious and melodious psychedelic synth-pop. The road is splendid of sounds and effects of guitars, in particular those beautiful harmonious loops just as in Michael Rother's repertoire, before arriving at this delicate explosion of rhythm which is expected and not disappointing at all. A little like the finale of the title-track.

ORGAN ACCUMULATOR / DISAPPEAR is a strong album from Sula Bassana. It's an album very different from The Ape Regards His Tail because of its texture more in rhythm than in ambiences and of its fusion between the various styles which had exploded the small planet music in the 70's. You find here Berlin School, Koshmik Rock, Space Music and good Krautrock wrapped in a fight between the vintage years and those more modern with lively and weird rhythms which always leave a little room to melodies that we notice a little later. An excellent album that I recommend strongly. It already has its place in my Top 10 list of 2017

Sylvain Lupari (August 22nd, 2017) *****

Available at Sula Bassana Bandcamp

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