On another level, it’s a brilliant release, playing around with all the sounds that you’re not supposed to like; throwing Gabriel, Hammill, Yes, and a whole host of other things about with abandon.
Now this is a GOOD record; and something different in its own quiet way. Bhava is pop; but pop in a way that is outside everyday expectations of pop. Rather, it seems to ignore the Zeitgeist completely, and draws heavily on those wide eyed, cod-nostalgic explorations into ’70s synth that French acts like Air played with in the late 90s. As well as collating a lot of cosmic rumbling (there’s some heavy duty nodding to both Herr K Schultze and late period SFA going on here, too, comrades) Bhava creates a gigantic, pulsating and very soft pop groove that floats around the place, occasionally grabbing you by its absurd beauty.
You see, this record is absurd; you can’t help but thing that the whole conceit is, on one level a joke. On another level, it’s a brilliant release, playing around with all the sounds that you’re not supposed to like; throwing Gabriel, Hammill, Yes, and a whole host of other things about with abandon, and somehow having enough bite to appeal to both bakfietsmoeders having a biscuit at Hema, and squatters coming down of ketamine after a terrible, terrible, musty, warm beer/cold water in the bogs party (where they only serve humus) on an industrial estate.
Shit there are even horns on here, and we forgive them. Shapes for instance, is a classic mid ’70s smooch that has lost its moorings just south of Baker Street and floated, Zeppelin like towards us, only to scud out of sight before we’ve really got to grips with it. Elsewhere, it comes across as an ethereal and at times oddly devotional record; devotional in the way those ghastly Mozart as disco records were in the (yes you guessed it) ’70s. Not only that but the LP adopts the approach those early VDG releases did, like Pawn Hearts, oddly relaxing to listen to, whilst being unsettling on some unexplainable level. Where to turn, emotionally? The vocoder’d voice on Decay even gets all confessional on our collective ass. And then we get some serious viola-led stuff with Huru and Cumulus that sounds odd, but hey, we can run with it. We don’t really need to hear this, do we? Well... sort of.
But then, tracks like Galaxies and Homunculus and Saha are masterful in their stoner healing properties; utilizing this ponderous stomp and deadpan vocal line, somehow bringing everything together in an incredible stoner MOR vibe (how?) that at times nods to Eno – just listen to Pharaoh and you’ll see what I mean. Things end with The Universe (a very ’70s title, that) which is an mercurial, lofi, take on Sliver Mt Zion’s ponderous vibe, engulfing everything in some sort of synthesized, harmonic, looped, squeaky, squidgy, Sufjan-esque balm. The sound of going under and resurfacing at the Korova Milk Bar.