Last Ex - Last Ex

...surely the results of a vacuum sealed experiment whereby drops of Roy Budd’s menace and Studio G’s weird electro fugginess have been left (under lab conditions, of course) to mutate into new forms of sonic matter.

 

http://www.konkurrent.nl (Constellation)

What a record! Constellation can do little wrong in Incendiary’s books. And this release just underlines their current run of form. You see, this record by Last Ex is possibly (just possibly M’Lud) the greatest 70’s spy thriller soundtrack never written; until now that is. The opening two tracks, Hotel Blues and Girl Seizure (and Resurrection Drive Part I for that matter) are surely the results of a vacuum sealed experiment whereby drops of Roy Budd’s menace and Studio G’s weird electro fugginess have been left (under lab conditions, of course) to mutate into new forms of sonic matter. It’s a sound that really, really convinces. Hotel Blues Returns and Flûte Magique plod and bang around in a musty, sinister atmosphere, (the drums on the latter having this Jaki Leibezeit thud to them that works really well in the setting) and the whole thing presents itself like some 60s take on an Inspector Maigret TV series.

There’s a LOT of nods to German Krautrock bands on this; the 70s analogue feel is at times overpowering; Popol Vuh, Can (especially them) and T-Dream’s dizzying soundscapes are never far away from your thoughts. Actually there are bits on here that really have a lot in common with that brilliant reworking of Rodelius’s Lunz a decade back, a sort if future past vibe as on Hotel Kiss and Cape Fear. At times things get very steamy and Ege Bamyasi-like as on It’s Not Chris. Bits of JMJ sneak in too; tracks such as Trop Tard have that wonky, spacey feel you found on Oxygene; though Trop Tard ditches the JMJ stuff for a more classical Gainsbourgian drive round the estate. Think Cannabis and you’re there. There’s also a fair dollop of that 70s folksie guitar strumming here; often set against a dystopian synth landscape; such as on Nell’s Theme, the sort of thing your mind’s eye imagines sound tracking some  loon-panted, tousle-haired pre-teen survivor’s nightmare stumble through a world eaten by giant plants.

This record is fucking magnificent, it really is.