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StereoKimono - Intergalactic Art Cafe CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.90 | 55 ratings

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4 stars Italian band STEREOKIMONO was formed back in the mid 1990's, and with their first two albums from 2000 and 2002 respectively they showcased to good effect that they were a good quality act of the kind that is hard to place within a set genre definition. Intergalactic Art Cafe is their third full length production, and was released through the Immaginifica label in 2012. Ten years after their previous album.

And while it have taken the band 10 years to create this disc, it appears that those years have been used well to develop their material. The core of the material is a curious blend of styles, with early 80's King Crimson and jazzrock as prominent details. Liberally flavoured with a touch of late 80's Rush and space rock. The guitarwork caters for the majority of the Crimson references, or perhaps Frippian would be a better description. Generally light in tone and playful in expression, with picked reverberating notes and quirkier wanderings utilizing a tonal range that often makes them sound a tad off kilter, in a nice and intriguing sort of way. Perhaps closer to the Frippian universe in sound than in expression, but with quite a few quirky and most likely fairly challenging escapades to enjoy too. And with occasional jazzrock references to boot.

But it's the steady and occasionally funky bass guitar that provides the majority of the jazzrock references. Solid, steady and energetic, and tightly interwoven with high quality drum patterns there's a solid foundation catering for momentum and energy quite nicely in the rhythms department.

Flavouring the proceedings quite nicely are keyboards of various sorts. Dreamladen Mellotron passages, cosmic synthesizer sounds and fluctuating keyboard textures with more of a symphonic character all have their place here, although it is the former two that are most commonly utilized. All of these details are used to good effect in solid compositions throughout, with a fair degree of diversity too. Generally light n tone and playful in expression, on relatively straightforward pieces like opening tune Fuga da Algon, with eastern inspired textures on Indian Breakfast or exploring theme variations as on three part mini epic Rebus. Slower paced, gentle dreamladen affairs gets a few spots too, with The Gnome on the Moon as possibly the most interesting of these, and they even play around with a few country and folk inspired recurring themes on Lumacacactus, a composition that also features classic space rock Hawkwind style and some clever, quirky Frippian inserts.

A high quality production through and through, Inergalactic Art Cafe should be a safe acquisition for those with a taste for space rock that avoids the most common stylistic expressions of that genre. And if you tend to enjoy music that have a few occasional nods towards the more accessible parts of King Crimson's early 80's productions too I'd suspect you'd find this disc to be a real treat.

Windhawk | 4/5 |


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