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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Flying Microtonal Banana CD (album) cover

FLYING MICROTONAL BANANA

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.17 | 86 ratings

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sl75
3 stars If, like me, the concept of this album makes you curious about how microtonality would work in a rock context - especially if you've heard, for example, the work of Alois Haba, whose piano sonata explores microtonality so thoroughly as to be utterly disorienting - well, these guys don't go anywhere near as far out as Alois Haba.

The music is mostly harmonically static - often sitting on the same pedal note for lengthy periods, particularly in "Rattlesnake" - over which they explore what mostly sound like fairly standard modal scales with the occasional microtonal inflection - enough microtonality to sound 'out of tune' to ears used to equal temperament, but not enough for you to forget what key they're in.

From other reviewers I learn that they were particularly influenced by Middle Eastern music. That explains the lesser importance given to harmony and harmonic motion in this music, although to my ears it lacks the elaborate melodicism that such music usually has when liberated from harmonic constraints - perhaps partly because it's not similarly liberated rhythmically, with an insistent Krautrock-style rhythm anchoring most of the music. The Middle Eastern Influence is most noticeable in the instrumental title track, and in those tracks that use the zurna. Most of the time the vibe I get is somewhere between Can and Hawkwind.

An interesting album. 3.5 stars if I could give half stars here.

sl75 | 3/5 |

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