Monthly Archives: January 2015

Reverb Nation (Bzzzzzzzzzz)


Further to my last post – God, they’re pretty few and far between these days; but that’s a good relationship for ya – I’ve had Terra Familiar in my grubby little mitts for three weeks now, and in the very best way possible, I’m unsure of what to make of it. It’s long been something of a cliché to talk of hearing something new in each listen.

I like it. Very much. I hear new things every time…

It doesn’t much feel like a continuation of Mikrokosmos i and ii. It stands very much apart. Those albums consisted of 15 tracks – and that word is undeniably apposite, more so than songs – apiece; some of them very short, little more than sketches, interludes. iii features just 9, several of which hover around the 6-7 minute mark. Unsurprisingly, the ideas herein feel more developed, luxuriated-in, albeit stopping short of sheer indulgence for the most part. Still not ‘songs’ to the same degree as much of Hayes‘ work with Levitation or Dark Star, mind.

Where those were albums of fragments collected, this one ebbs and flows. One almost feels the nine tracks ought to bleed more completely into each other; in the manner of Edison’s Children‘s The Final Breath Before November or Faithless‘ No Roots.

If Psychedelia can be simplistically divided between that which is anchored by beats and a more free-floating variety then this album ticks both boxes. Unsurprisingly the legacy of The Beatles looms large; also Can: not so much in and of themselves but Echoes (no pun 😉 ) of the bands that followed them down the rabbit hole: Floyd, Early Verve; Primal Scream (circa XTRMTR/Evil Heat); Tool without the aggression, the pathos; Underworld; Secret Machines…

And if you feel that by piling on the references I’m on a hiding to nothing; that it’s journalism as lazy as it is ultimately useless; then you’re maybe on the same page as me. You’ll maybe recognise the ghosts of these lofty antecedents and quite possibly like the record, whilst concurring that Terra Familiar is uncannily well-named: the sum of its parts and yet so much more besides. It’s a journey well worth taking.

Stream or buy this (and previous) albums here