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Perhaps – V

Riot Season

Perhaps - Mood-StabilizerThe fifth album (as the title indicates) from Perhaps credits no fewer than eleven members of the group, comes wrapped up in a mind-altering sleeve — all jagged reds and blues with a eyeball-in-hand motif that shrieks LSD ahoy — and consists of two parts of vinyl to its one track, the intriguingly titled “Mood-Stabilizer”.

Having collaborated with the likes of Makoto Kawabata, Cotton Casino and Tabata Mitsuru from Acid Mothers Temple and Damo Suzuki, among others, it’s no surprise therefore to discover that the album opens up the doors of audio perception in a wandering warp and weft of pleasant tones that soon lift off into somewhere not too far away from the metronomic groove of Can‘s “Mother Sky” and Hawkwind‘s “The Aubergine That Ate Rangoon” and all points lysergic in between. This level of intense space rockery comes complete with meandering sax lines that Nik Turner would feel right at home with, and as it settles into the long haul, things take turns that, while never unexpected, signify a band who are comfortably peaking in their temporally elongated trip to the outer reaches of inner space.

En route, they coast on burbling arpeggiations that soon dissolve and digress into filtered oscillator ripples and contortions that both the late Dik Mik and Higashi Hiroshi would delight in rendering upon the heads who dig having their brains briskly scrambled (stormed, even). They encounter sheer walls of fuzzy fed-back guitar, buzzing organ trills, shifting white noise scree and plunging ravines of bass expansion (some doubtless courtesy of Tabata himself, who is one of the eleven crew of Starship Perhaps), relentlessly leading the listener into plains higher and freakier as they do so.

It’s a journey at once profound as it is familiar, pushing all the spine-tingling buttons, switching the synapses and setting the corpus a-twitching to the motorik motion that by turns demands attention of both the feet and the heart. “Mood-Stabilizer” isn’t afraid to skronk abstractly either, nor to ramble and roam the sputtering freeways littered discarded junk percussion and to throw in a chunk of groovesome hand drumming when the moment is right — and those cowbells seem like they might still be attached to some bovine quadrupeds of a slightly cosmic kind — if they really are cowbells. Of course, the sleeve notes suggest that the album might have been recorded in the Himalayas too.

V is the sort of album that suggests giving it some concentrated attention, taking time out from the cares and quibbles of the so-called real world. As was observed repeatedly on Hawkwind’s “Utopia”, “If you want to get into it, you’ve got to get out of it”, and this Perhaps do with both alacrity and ebullience.

-Antron S Meister-

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