Album Review

Xambuca – “Kamuy” – [Erototox Decodings]

Thurston Hunger   6/26/2014   A Library, CD

Synth mood pieces, at times with minimal drum machine accompaniment
from former Bay Area being Chandra Shukla and perhaps some other
accomplices. The lead-off track reminded me of how on Beneath
the Planet of the Apes, the bomb-worshippers would communicate
telepathically. Or maybe that 12-tone lullabye from Grandma
Sparrow and His Piddletractor, every bit as eerie, just not
as cute. The tones here are foreboding, #3 is as playful as
it will get, with a jaw harp in a funhouse mirror of sound.
When the drum machines step to the front, I get a nice vibe
of Cabaret Voltaire, say on #9. The harsher drums and silent
pause on #13 provide a nice kick in the mussolini. #5, had
some nice hyper-washes of sound that can really clean one’s
ears via headphones. Track #7, sneaks around a stark Joy
Division bassline, before finding a slightly happier path.
The more I listened to these cuts, the more they emerged as
songs…but my initial impression, that they would be killer
film music for some shadowy sci-fi out of Britain remains
strong. Perhaps “Mind Wiping with Pride?” Also there is
apparently an Ainu connection here as there was on the Slava
Ranko 12″ I reviewed earlier this year. Not sure if the message
comes through in these instros, perhaps that is the bear-deity
Kamuy (the anglicized title here) speaking to me? Anyways, a
connection betweeen vanishing indigenous peoples and underground
artists makes sense in my unwiped mind.

-Thurston Hunger

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