Reptilian Bloodlines, Indeed

Rather ordinary album of synth and guitar jamming from the team of mensimonis on their Clone Fever (OPA LOKA RECORDS ol16012) record. The players are Radboud Mens, a synth-electronica fellow who we have heard some time ago on his 2000 Sine album, while guitarist Lukas Simonis is a veritable powerhouse of activity – running the Worm set-up in Rotterdam and playing with all manner of talented collaborators, even the great Peter Stampfel. Their pairing ought to be a very successful match, with sparks generating and fur flying in all directions, but I found these four lengthy tracks to be flabby, self-indulgent, and shapeless, much senseless flailing around in the same place and sticking to the same root note for no apparent reason. Not an inch of air or space; once they get started, the duo cover everything in sight with a continuous thick spread, like so much Polyfilla. The only variations and progressions discernible are some vague shifts in timbre and tone; not enough real instrument-playing in evidence for me, in spite of Lukas’ frenetic guitar strums which grow more agitated towards the end of each piece. It’s interesting how each track seems to follow a near-identical structure, i.e. starting out quiet and then building up to an intense climax, as if neither player has any control over the relentless forward motion of this default mode. The pompous sentence-length track titles don’t inspire much confidence, either; the flat, shallow music has done little to earn such semantically-rich epithets. A largely unnecessary record that does nothing to transcend the limitations of its studio-bound creation. From 20th March 2017.

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