Group Of Gods / HMV Japan

Group Of Gods were a supergroup of sorts. The sessions, which took place in 1992, between Tokyo and Bali, featured members of the bands Little Tempo, Natural Calamity, and the Major Force collective / crew. Their sole, eponymous LP is a slice of exotica which expanded on ideas that the Major Force guys explored in the mid-80s, as The Water Melon Group – on their album Cool Water – and paved the way for their seminal “trip hop” expedition, as Skylab, in the mid-90s, alongside Howie B and Matt Ducasse. The latter in fact could be considered a deconstruction of Group Of Gods. 

A journey from The Gate Of Japonesia to a River Of Bass, the album is a mixture of straight forward and more progressive tributes to the music of folks such as Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman and Haruomi Hosono. Showcasing some brilliant, beautiful, guitar playing. Beyond The Jungle, for example, is a Hawaiian pedal steel lullaby. A gently lapping calm, caressing, morning tide of hushed heavenly harmonies, and graceful glissando. A sunshine-soaked musical massage. Its textures including tinkling ivories. A fluttering, floating flute perfectly painting pictures of a deserted, unspoiled Indonesian shore.  

Death Is A Good Adviser, despite its strange, maybe moody title, is a sleepy sonic siesta that harnesses filtered and phased, Eno-esque psychedelic rock to a head-nodding beat. Its 12-string strumming partnered with dancing electronic detail. Slack Baby Slack couples marimba with country picking, as sequences spin backwards, and sing like crickets and cicadas in campfire chorus. Thunder Island is showered with birdsong and by a field recorded storm. Space Cowboy, with its sampled Cape Canaveral countdown could be an outtake from The KLF’s Chill Out, and is, perhaps, the highlight. 

Group Of Gods has been pressed on vinyl for the first time by HMV Japan. 

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