A live blast of psychedelia from Drugon. Formed by Mani Neumeier from krautrock lifers Guru Guru, Mandog’s Keiichi Miyashita and Takayuki Enomoto, and Makoto Kawabata from Acid Mothers Temple, the set is taken from a performance in Tokyo in 2005. It’s a propulsive work that touches on Guru Guru’s free jazz associations and embraces a chiming minimalist approach to the guitar. Out on CD from So I Buried Records.
7/10 Robin Staff review, 02 April 2015
Psychedelia has subsumed rock so much at this point that it’s becoming subliminal. DRUGON’s music is described as having “incidental, but inevitable” strands of the stuff, an accident of intense jamming based around total creative freedom plus a bit of discipline: guitars crashing out of control, drums striking and chiming a few miles away, but bass steadily recycling itself, like Johnny Cash riding the prison rail. When hypnosis and surrealism come together, DRUGON’s ‘DRAGON’ blows its fire.
‘DRAGON’ was recorded live to show off the stupendousness of this free jazz supergroup: most of these people were either in a band called Acid something or Guru something and one of them played guitar for Damo Suzuki. They’re disciplined noise scoundrels, coming in ferocious and tectonic on this record’s opener, but they’re also worthy crescendo makers: the loosely tightened drums of “Dragon’s Dream” offer a shimmering backdrop for mathy guitars to coalesce on, allowing a climax worthy of Tortoise to generate and generate until the tempo changes its mind and things start to splinter away; after an exhausting jam the drums become the stuff of uncompromising free jazz, but they never feel disorientating, the music kept gorgeous in its urgency.
You can so totally tell that folks are seasoned psychers, though the more interesting moments are those with minimalism and restrain: the deathly silence of “Barbarian”, with its ghost-stalking chords and echoing effects, or the sturdy bass intro of “Dragon Waltz”, which turns out to be a prog kinda waltz. Play it suave, Drugons.
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