Baïkonour - Your Ear Knows Your Future
A magnificently grandiose LP title, I’m sure you will agree? It’s mostly the work of one chap, Jean-Emmanuelle Kreiger, who takes a grandiose High European stand on re-working aspects of the Cocteau Twins’ guitar sounds on Moon and the Melodies LP (he must be a big fan of that). No matter, this music has big horizons, think Magma, think pre Dark Side Floyd, think Todd Rungdren; and at times it gets into a groove similar to Finland’s Circle.
It’s a cracking LP, full of invention and wide eyed promise. Shikharettes and Khukries is a pleasant mid-tempo prog-stomp (with those Guthrie guitar sounds) and Chiru starts off all dreamy only to become some sort of huge pink zeppelin of phasing and synth noises, floating above us in a Roger Dean sky. It’s bordering on the pompous but, due to the charm of the music, gets away with it.
Following this is the beautiful prog-rock of Fly Tiger, surely one of the best tracks on the LP, and in spirit very close to Gong’s blissed-out LP, You. The music floats around save for a dirty guitar riff which dovetails brilliantly with the faerie stuff. It really could be 1974 at times here. Double Happiness Wholesale is as close to Moon and the Melodies as anyone would wish to sail. That’s not to say it’s not lovely, it is… the lilting Guthrie-esque guitar lines are a joy. Ye Ama Pioooo! starts off quietly but then morphs into a beast of a track, a guitar line lays down a headstrong metallic rush with nary a derivation. It’s completely uplifting in its boneheaded simplicity and Dinger-ness.
Listen out for Tombahead with the great accelerating riff tacked onto a lazy wah-splurge. At times it sounds like a brilliantly underachieving ‘seventies cop soundtrack. Summer Grass/Winter Worm briefly returns to Cocteau territory with its breathy introduction. Suddenly things take off and develop into a guitar-led reflection of considerable charm and certain Moody Blues-style inflections.
If you dig prog-tastic workouts, this will blow your mind.
Words: Richard Foster