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Damo Suzuki Network (live at the Kosmische Club)

Kosmische @ The Garage, London 12 September 1998

A legend or two popped into The Garage, held an audience captive for a couple of hours, and it was just as might be expected – half a trip back in time, and half a slice of something timeless. Damo Suzuki nearly three decades on still has the stage presence of the Can days (at least that evident in Peter Pryzgoda‘s Freeconcert film for those who are too young to actually have been there), while Michael Karoli looks better if anything, all razored cheeks and shades – a great imorovement on the regulation Seventies rock-mop he used to sport. But forget the haircuts, remember that this was not a Can reunion (wait for November for that unmissable occasion), but Damo and friends touching down from the wilderness.

With half of Guru Guru as the backing band, it’s not surprising that the set

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Plone – Plock

Label: Warp Format: CDS, 12″

Plone– PlockPlone have a nice ear for the uses of old technology, turning in three deceptively simple songs (which happens also to neatly provide the title for track two) , equal parts Pram and retro elevator music. “Plock” is a shimmery analogue bossanova featuring that most marvellous of processors, the Vocoder, while the aforementioned “Simple Song” recalls the naivete of early electronic music with a Poppy quality which wouldn’t be out of place in some kind of pixellated animation involving cuddly alien beings. There’s more Latinate drum-machine work on “Sunday Laid Moo,” which rounds off what can only be described as a charming debut single in pleasant enough style. Quite how engaging a whole album would be though, remains to be heard.

-Freq1C-

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The Serpents – You Have Just Been Poisoned By…

Label: Ochre Format: CD

The first album from this psychedelic collective proves to be a cosmic affair of considerable depth and originality. Taking their cues from the space rock of Brainticket and Amon Düül II and the lo-fi acid folk of The Incredible String Band, this group kick out some truly noxious grooves with time for multiplex neo-pagan storytelling trips and obscure Electroacoustic klang worthy of a lost Can EFS number. But all this is mere trainspotting. What The Serpents have put together is unique. While most contemporary psychedelia has opted for the safety of Trance or the wilful obscurity of post-rock we get the feeling that someone is completely off their tits on psilocybin here.

On the downside, occasionally the female womb voice gets a tad too earth-motherish for this reviewer but who gives a shit when it’s all rockin’ on so many levels. The band haven’t entirely ejected

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