In a recent, excellent interview – conducted by Matt Parker for Electronic Sound – Andy Bell says that he thinks it’ll be a while before there’s another GLOK LP, and I’m not surprised.
Andy’s debut, Pattern Recognition, is epic – spread across four sides of vinyl, pulling in all sorts of electronic and dance music references, with two of the tracks clocking in at fifteen to twenty minutes apiece. Initially inspired to dive deeper into “machine music” almost a decade ago – while recording as a member of Liam Gallagher`s Beady Eye and witnessing producer, TV On The Radio`s Dave Sitek`s genre-blurring studio magic – Andy learnt his chops taking cues from favourites by A Guy Called Gerald and Larry Heard. Here he marries classic `80s house with equally classic `70s kosmische. Authentic acid Juno bass vibrations and fluttering Mr. Fingers keys – like feathers floating – interwoven with flickering modular synth sequences. Synergising in an insistent throb. The results, a kind of Italo disco-not-disco – Giorgio Morroder meets Moebius & Plank – with tempos taking in pulsating, undulating, Orb-like grooves, and love chugs from outer space. Throughout, Andy’s granular guitar illuminating this “techno” trance-dancing. His chords and colours running from cool clipped chiming – to my ears recalling The Edge with Eno – to raw distorted arcs. Sending his six-strings spinning backwards on suites of sun-scorched psychedelia – see Memorial Device – or having them ringing in reverb, a la Robin Guthrie, as on the ethereal, emotional, ambient, Kintsugi. Unafraid to indulge in some full-on, fuzzed up, stoner rock shredding on the opening extravaganza, Dirty Hugs. Riffing on Led Zep, Jimmy Page, throwing some Carlton Melton into the mix.
Personal highlights include Closer’s warm womb-like analogue bubblebath, and Maintaining The Machine, where Primal Scream`s Simone Butler supplies a massive Jah Wobble-like b-line, and purred lyrics come care of poet, Sinead O`Brien. The song bumping and grinding somewhere between Warpaint and The Tom Tom Club.
I know I’ve mentioned before that I’m a sucker for “spoken word”, and on Pattern Recognition, That Time Of Night takes the biscuit. A smart celebration of strobe-lit ceremonies, with Andy’s wife, Shiarra, sharing, recounting the excitement, the anticipation, of a rave. That contagious contact high, the collective euphoria, you experience as a molecule moving within an ecstatic mass.
The finale arrives in the form of Invocation – a slowly evolving tribal tattoo, casting its spell with shamanic shouts, fractured, echoed, vocals. Building beautifully, the way that the best motorik does – culminating in horns, a carousel of cascading, bleeps, and some hands down superior heads down hypnotic boogie.
GLOK`s Pattern Recognition was announced quite a while back, but it`s an album that I wanted to cover and didn’t quite find time. Digital is available directly from Bytes, while pre-orders for vinyl are up over at Juno and Phonica.