Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Primitive Motion Makes The World Float By

Brisbane duo Primitive Motion have always been a beguiling prospect for me. The first time I can clearly remember seeing them (although it was about the third time I had ACTUALLY seen them) as Primitive Motion was at the New War show at the Bridge Club in 2011 (what happened to that place? Another venue bites the dust before even getting started...). Leighton Craig and Sandra Selig have always been busy with their constant manipulations of synth, electronics and the style and conventions of the pop aesthetic, whether it be in the various incarnations of The Deadnotes, on solo duties and in other genre-defying acts like Fig. The simplistic keys, the effects, the saxophone, the basic, monotonal vocal delivery, all presented in a cyclical miasma of narcotic wash - it was entrancing, and quite unlike anything I had witnessed before. I still feel that way now, even after having seen them on many occasions since. Their support slot for the Brisbane leg of Godspeed You! Black Emperor caught a lot of people off guard, but it is a testament to the band's unique take on pop conventions (even if their sounds at times struggled to fill the cavernous venue).

Worlds Floating By is Primitive Motion's third LP but their first on vinyl, and it is Bedroom Suck that steps in to help this come to fruition. Not that strange, really - Joe's support of the likes of Angel Eyes and Superstar of recent months shows his savvy ears are pricked for much more than base garage nihilism and apathetic jangle. This album though will hopefully be the jewel that finally enamours the masses, for it is an unqualified gem. The kosmiche repetition, the interplay between Craig's atonal and Selig's soaring vocals, the seemingly simplistic beats and organ tones that nevertheless fuse together to provide an amorphous skeleton for elegant, eloquent drifts into the ether. Songs like 'The Hill' feel maudlin yet exotically beautiful, the music oozing forth like a opaque mist that emanates pastel pulses from within; whilst stronger rock allusions on tracks like 'Skyline' belie the intrinsic machinations of pop convention being manipulated and toyed with, a playful attraction to inverting the norm. Above all else, there is a mirthfulness that permeates this album that supersedes the melancholia, underscores the jubilance, subverts the angularity, tempers the anguish. It's impossible not to get lost in the gauzy miasma of sound that Primitive Motion painstakingly constructs, with every sound a textural marvel that slides into the cyclical whirlpool and adds yet another shade of eclectic hypnosis to the mix. Worlds Floating By is not completely apt an album description - it is you that does the floating, and you will be inexorably stuck in the duo's world forever, hooked on the haze, warmed by their energy, and refusing to ever leave.

Worlds Floating By is out now. Primitive Motion are playing at Sydney's Red Rattler on November 7 as part of this year's Sound Summit (that has made the move from Newcastle this year). They will be joined by Heinz Riegler and Sky Needle amongst a plethora of other likeminded acts. Then it's back to Brisbane for the album launch at Cooparoo Bowls Club, with delectable supports from Cured Pink, Scraps, Screaming Match, Bitter Defeat, Pink Mouse and more.

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