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Perhaps - Volume One CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.97 | 107 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I'm always impressed and intrigued when a group comes out with a single track, 40 minute long debut album (and that seems to happen surprisingly often), and I'm always a little nervous when a track of that length is described as having been recorded live. There's always a huge potential for failure; for the possibility that a 40 minute jam will sound like just that: a wandering, aimless piece that has some cool parts but ultimately goes nowhere.

Fortunately, perhaps has deftly avoided these pitfalls and turned out a stunning piece of instrumental music. Where it could have been wandering, it feels tightly paced and well put- together. Where it could have been aimless, it feels focused. All of the moments are cool moments and it all leads to one of the finest finales in instrumental music this side of 1969. All in all, "Volume One" is an excellent piece of work and should be highly appreciated by fans of Kraut-influenced experimental rock.

Some very faint, haunting tones begin the album's singular piece, giving the beginning of the track a very minimalist feel. This pseudo-ambient feel carries through until about the two minute mark, when the piece suddenly launches into an eccentric, frenetic groove that bears some definite similarities to some of the early, classic Krautrock albums. I would say that this music has a bit more of a playful spirit to it, though, and it's certainly less dark than a lot of early Krautrock.

The introduction of a twisted-sounding saxophone gives the music an alien edge, a vibe which is in no small part exacerbated by the echoey guitar parts which seem to reverberate through the recording with acid-soaked fervor. I have to mention the percussionist as well; the drums sound to me like they're mixed decently far back in the recording but the frenetic energy with which they're played perfectly complement the chaotic instruments in the foreground.

At about the fifteen minute point the track drops into a more relaxed, almost jazzy mode that primarily features some great, psychedelic atmospheres courtesy of that great acid-washed guitar tone. Intensity builds from this motif and eventually drops into a great, classic sounding jam that could have come straight out of the late 60s.

The reintroduction of a horn part pulls the track back into the neighborhood of jazz, but the whacked-out psychedelia remains abundant and some distorted, electronic effects over the horn keep the track sounding eclectic and of course pretty "out there." In fact, by the time the track hits the 22-minute mark it's in full on freak-out mode, with a huge variety of instruments wailing and jamming in a way that recalls the past but still sounds completely timeless. The intensity drops back a little bit after that and lets the listener breathe, which really highlights how well the piece is paced, which is absolutely critical for an instrumental track of this length.

The variety in the track is also very impressive, as the last ten minutes or so of the track switches gears entirely and becomes a swirling, pseudo ambient/post-rock piece that makes use of a string part and great atmospheric guitar. It's a moment of peace before the intensity of the track builds back up for its blistering climax, which features an absolutely monstrous guitar part along with the strings to create a beautiful, climactic finish for the album.

"Volume One," then, is certainly an astounding piece of instrumental, experimental rock, and its wonderfully paced chaos sounds incredibly fresh among the legions of highly produced, sometimes overly technical instrumental bands that can seem to dominate the progressive scene. For anyone who looks to the past and says "they don't make music like that anymore," I would point them to perhaps' debut album, because this should convince them that "music like that" is still being made and hopefully will be for a very long time.


VanVanVan | 4/5 |


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