Monday 25 May 2015

Rhythmically Creaming Nathan In America

Nathan is actually an older album, having come out a couple years ago, but I have only had the immense pleasure of swimming in American Cream's Krautrock waters this week. Although they have been around for a decade, Nathan is their debut record (out through Old Blackberry Way), a double LP that is stunning in its brazen experiments, elongated mindbending jams and especially adherence to finding the notches in a droned-out rhythm and staying lodged there for as long as hypnotically possible. A carousel of musicians are involved in this kaleidoscopic revelry – upwards to 24 I am led to believe, from such disparate groups as Marijuana Deathsquads, Polica, Flavor Crystals, Chambermaids, Gospel Gossip and a bunch of bands not mentioned on Sonic Masala before – and holds true to the general aesthetic of an American Cream live show – that is, Nate Nelson is the centrifugal force that various musicians revolve around, at random, and with little warning as to what will be played on the night – a truly intuitive motorik confluence. The hushed murmur/chanted mantras of the vocals and the unhinged sax that wavers in and out of tracks like ‘Don’t Buy It’ just adds to the heart-pounding intensity.

Nathan is a really good album in its own right. What makes Nathan a brilliant album is that this is a somehow structured ensemble improvisational album – with cohesion, a hive-mind mentality and an overarching adherence to a heaving, breathing, rhythmic euphoria, never plateauing, never dying away.

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