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Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden - Report from Iron Mountain CD (album) cover

REPORT FROM IRON MOUNTAIN

Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.04 | 5 ratings

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Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group
Site and Forum Admin
4 stars Boa constrictor in your morning coffee

I was actually planning on doing a couple of reviews for some old obscure American albums, but seeing as I completely missed the plot with my last write-up as Tim Hecker was Canadian and I then unexpectedly had left the land of milk and honey, I thought it best to pop straight over the Pacific Ocean like a pole-vaulter with jumping shoes and devote myself to some of the most inspiring and imaginative artists this side of the solar system.

Japan has been a hotbed for progressive music ever since they picked up on latter day Beatles and those experimental bits of the time that rubbed off to other such Western artists. Japan quickly soaked up everything vibrant and essential and then began to develop a style that was entirely their own. Looking back from a modern viewpoint, I think it's fair to say that the Japanese not only created a niche sound for themselves, but they additionally had a big hand in shaping the sound of the future. What I mean to say by this is that we today, all across the globe, are witnessing the ripples from the waterdrops that descended oh so long ago - especially when we're talking the more avantguarde minded groups - the peeps that want to stretch our musical beliefs, how we hear and feel music.

Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden are a big bunch of mostly jazz influenced musicians who tend to roam every musical adaptation you can think of, maybe except for straight up jazz.... Yep sounds kinda contradictory, yet that was my impression of them when I first came across their masterly Structure et Force release, - an album which I rightfully awarded with the full monty in my review of it. Then I bought this baby a little while back and suddenly found a band that paid homage to the wilderness days of jazz - back when it roared wildly about in both rock, psychedelic tripping and electronic templates.

Report from Iron Mountain recalls the great days of experimental jazz - hell call it whatever you want: avantguarde, freejazz, experimental lobster music - doesn't matter really, but what is at the very heart of the sound, is an outspoken adventurous approach. You can hear it in the Mwandishi releases that started with the now classic Herbie Hancock albums like 'Crossings' and 'Sextant' as well as in Miles Davis early 70s oevre. -A wild experimental look at jazz from a rock point of view.....or is that the other way around?

OK........??? So we're basically just listening to left overs from the kings of yore and nothing new ever happens and all music is derivative and music will never progress and yadayadayada.... HELL NO! With a big bootful of trance induced psychedelia drenched noise rock - the likes that fizzle and hum all through your body like sodapop on the rise from within, the musical expression of this album is far removed from the 1970s jazz scene, even if I myself believe this album to be it's natural heir-taker. Then you get the bombastic post-rock touches - the small whirling pools of guitar and rhythm that ever so slowly develops into these grand rocking gestures that threaten to overtake everything around them like a giant octopus of sound.

Like the subsequent Structure et Force you're also treated to a highly infectious funk drive that propels the band forth like big black tanks in leather boots. Teutonic funk perhaps? Nahh listen to this for yourself and you'll catch my drift, but safe to say, this ain't James Brown baby! With all kinds of horns and DJ scratchings, poly-rhythms from different drummers purposely playing off and in key at the same time, the feel of Report from Iron Mountain never really mimics anything other than itself. You can keep throwing arbitrary parallels at them from all kinds of the musical map, and quite often you hear resemblances and similar sounding instruments, yet there is something here...something that's as exotic as a boa constrictor in your morning coffee...something that refuses to be boxed in and sticker-dubbed.

This brings me back to the start of my review. Japan has like no other country rejuvenated the face of progressive music, and this album proves that. It takes it's cue from the out-there-on-the-ledge jazz and mixes it up with an infinitely modern and futuresque twist....just like the Taj Mahal Travellers did way back in the 70s or like Tatsuya Yoshida in the 90s and so forth. It may well be a load of incomprehensible noise to some folks, but if you're looking for the kind of music that's already far beyond the upcoming corner, then by all means: Look no further!

How does one describe music.....no, how does one describe this kinda music? Well stick your head inside a Japanese jazz club filled to the brim with strange lizard like gymnasts, ping pong tables, pandas on coke, neon ship lamps and Shaft movies in the loo - all of which is spliced up beyond recognition with the enigmatic touches of the modern Manga scene - the hippedihopsters and the weird girls with tampons in their hair who love Burt Bacharach and Black metal equally. That's Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden for ya!

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |

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