ROVO – Pyramid

ROVO.  Readers of my previous post about this galaxy-shattering band, the gravitationally powerful Mon, know that I’m beyond crazy for them.  It’s more of a physical and spiritual impulse at this point.


The “man-drive trance” outfit has evolved from what was (mistakenly) believed to be a side project for Boredoms guitarist Seiichi Yamamoto into a pre-eminent percussive juggernaut with a genre all its own and a die hard fan base ever eager for further permutations of their uniquely pulsing energy signature.

Pyramid, released in 2000, is a single 43 minute track situated neatly between the more obviously electronically enhanced early sound and the more sophisticated, minimal, and directly hands-on appoach ROVO has flowered into.  As expected, the incandescent electric violin of Yuji Katsui rides the tidal groove with astonishingly fluid precision while Yamamoto’s six string mastery prods and propels his bandmates while providing crucial textural detail.  It’s uniquely jovial in a gentle free-jazz manner for a good portion of its running time, with meandering horns and  keys dancing unfettered until the rhythmic force pulls every building block inevitably toward a torrential avalanche of tribal motorik ecstasy.  The arc may be predictable, though never any less than thrilling when the band hits their warp drive lock-groove stride and rides the ensuing momentum into a rapturous eargasm.  It’s a space ship jumping to light speed, the stars stretching forward eternally, minute after blissful minute.

Surrender  full attention and be rewarded accordingly.  And then some.  And thank them personally while you’re at it.

[difficult to track down due to its original rarity and out-of-print status, i’ve found this album at jpophelp, or used copies at amazon (for an exhorbitant minimal price of $61) and (for ¥3,730 – under $40)]

Dusty Kid – A Raver’s Diary

Here we have a truly mind warping, expansive, and impulsively danceable new album from Dusty Kid.  It’s a headlong rush into ballsy beats and trance-inducing atmospheres seemingly forgotten since the heyday of Underworld or Chemical Brothers.  There is a reason, after all, the album is titled A Raver’s Diary.


The record starts things off on a minimal tack, with the first song’s title broadly (but reductively) indicative of the forthcoming beats –  Here Comes The Techno.   The course is seemingly set for some ambient house, minimal techno, essentially Kompakt-esque left-of-the-dial approach.  That notion is neatly sliced apart via Lynchesque, an off-kilter wobble of pulsing dub beats and stratospheric key tones.  Tension and surprising depth are revealed as layers are peeled away, then rebuilt with pinpoint accuracy, paving the way toward the rest of the album’s skyward trajectory.

Soaring above cumulonimbus clouds on the quarter-hour behemoth America, the rocketship momentum blasts through affecting surges of echoed guitar tones and romantic organ swells, the distinct feeling of a heart growing four times it’s size.  Feeling like a series of towering waves crashing against eardrums, every buildup and breakdown reveals richer textures and an evolving structure.  The low-end grows deeper, organs are interrupted by staccato-pulse synths, strings and woodwind gusts wash over the dubby guitar line… and it all recedes into a gentle lull you may have seen coming for miles, but were hoping would happen anyway.  It’s instantly rebuilt, vertically, with an intense picked guitar solo as the spine every element wraps seamlessly around.  Anyone with a heartbeat would want to repeat the track at once; Dusty Kid never allows the opportunity to arise.  Agaphes grabs the torch running full speed and jumps through multiple doorways, burning toward the terminal end of this habit-forming beat odyssey.

After that, it’s okay to hit Play again.  In fact, it’s recommended.  The perspective is essential for grasping the journey this album takes.  He drops the listener straight into a party comprised of the tangible accumulated knowledge of travellers who journeyed to learn what partying meant.  Which is to say.. nothing more, nothing less, than the thrill of the rhythm.  Have fun.

[get your hands on this at boomkat or check out amazon – if so, make sure to utilize the customer review function to negate the ridiculous shipping-related score of 1 star (by a fellow who obviously doesn’t know what ‘review’ means)]