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- Pitch Black by Black Past
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Fans of all things krauty and kosmische might well be interested in this album by Cleveland’s Black Past, aka Gregory Boyd, who utilises Micromoog, Korg Micro Preset, earthquaker devices, live bass, guitar and drums and a harmonica. Early on the Moog takes centre stage, first offering Carpenteresque pulses alongside some clattering drums on ‘Blown Out Mind’ and then stripped back to powerful repetitive swells in ‘Brain Trouble’, an uncompromising exercise in extreme minimal repetition which made me feel a bit queasy this early in the morning (or is it the pills I’m taking to quit smoking? I’m not sure), but it’s followed by two busier numbers with bouncy drum grooves and warm harmonica sounds taking you somewhere altogether less hostile.
Turn it over and those hypnotic pulses are back, but this time there’s some cracked, reverbed guitar swells which buzz and waver with patient intent, kind of reminding me of Kosmonaut if he branched out from the pure synth kosmische into live instrument territory. Then there’s the dystopic, robotic bassy churn of ‘Shook Hands With Fame’ which mixes nonchalantly cool repeato grooves with harsh buzzing synths, then ‘Ropes’ is a bit more upbeat kind of like an instrumental Klaus Johann Grobe, and finally he enlists the help of a Korg Poly 800 and its operator Dan Petrarca for the spaghetti kraut weirdness of ‘A Dark Ride Into The Sun’ with detuned guitars and more queasy buzzing over a bouncy and insistent bass and drum groove. If you’re into stripped back authentic-sounding krautrock you’ll probably like this a lot.
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