Mikhail Mineral - Lob
Astonishing debut album from Moscow's Mikhail Mineral, a member of the Asian Women on The Telephone collective, whose deep catalogue may in part be familiar to anyone especially au fait with the prolific output of Feeding Tube. Though this one pops up on great Seattle-based outpost Inu Wan Wan (other titles also available - both also great), FT's penchant for the outre and oddshaped is perfect context for Mineral's off-centre and surrealist avant folk/rock expressions. A spluttering smudge of saxophones, accordion, organs and atonal vocals coalesce into something that feels particularly visionary and purposefully positioned outside of rock orthodoxy. There's a free jazz instinct to a track like Burn Pavin, led by blurting sax and vocal incantations that wouldn't feel out of place on a Lard Free record, though it tells only part of the story of Lob. Elsewhere, it leans into droning abstraction ala Razen (Wind In), no wave atonality (Velorus) and campfire prog digression something like Enhet For Fri Musik or Sun City Girls had they shown up on Paul Putti's Pole imprint (La Danse, Baldiozh). Outeredge stuff, indeed, straight out of Europe's infinite avant vortex. Don't attempt any understanding, for there is none. This one's on its own path to either madness or salvation (possibly both). Only one way to find out which.
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