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- Makeout by Championlover
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I like Championlover. Every time I see them play they present me with something new and unexpected. There’s certainly an umbrella vibe/philosophy attached to the group, primarily one of spontaneous creation, but sonically their gigs can vary wildly.
It’s with this thought in mind I approach the group's debut ‘Makeout’ for the excellent Audacious Art Experiment, home to such artists as Trans/Human, Wooderson, Blood Sport, Cowtown, Nope, etc. I’m thinking what, ideally, would Championlover do if they were given the freedom to make whatever record they liked? Well, it looks like the answer to that is try and cover a little of everything in their repertoire.
What’s clear from ‘Makeout’ is that the band’s sound is primarily rooted in post-punk experimentation which, in this case, includes dub-outs, danceable rhythms, krauty jamz, spaced out improves and abstract sound experiments. It has that ghostly dub vibe of the early PiL material, kinda closed off from the rest of the world, doing it’s own thing. I’d like to think drugs are involved. There are a lot of atonal layers of sound and mumbled (potentially wordless) melodies that bring to mind the outstanding A Middle Sex as well as elements of the new Blood Sport album. Drums and percussion play a significant role throughout, providing the backbone for more ambitious experimentation and driving everything here to some kind of conclusion, however vague.
I’m particularly enjoying how setback the bass is in the mix giving it a Liquid Liquid vibe, especially on ‘Street Walker’ and ‘Blackpool Conga Feel’. It can be a little loose round the edges but again, I’m putting that down to a ‘no set structure’ policy or perhaps a result of mad mixing experimentation, or both...hopefully.
So, people are probably gonna label this a psychedelic record and, to an extent, you could say that but I reckon it’s a record firmly rooted in dub, albeit a dub record Vibracathedral Orchestra might make. I urge you take a listen but more importantly find the time to check them out live. You never know what might happen.
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