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EarthMonkey - Be That Change [Beta-Lactam Records - 2007]

Earthmonkey's second readily available album finds the project in fine and varied form going from: cleverly sampled layered melodic Krautrock grooves tipped with punky edges, to swirling psychedelic space rock jams to get lost in. To dubed-out guitar beat scapes heavy with hash smoke haze, or Jazzy Gong like space jams that go on and on in beautiful repetition.

The album is split into three disks, the third disk been ltd to the first 300 copies. With disk one lasting just over 70 minute mark, taking in 8 varied tracks. Disk two lasts near on 45 minutes offering up four long tracks. Which leaves disk three which is subtitled Discobalistic, been the smallest offering here lasting just over 20 minutes. so you get a lot of Monkey for your money. High points are very difficult to pick as there really is no really major wrong moves here- but if forced I’d say a few of my favourite moments are ; from disk one: Hydraulic Bugger- with it’s melodic and fist shaking mix of synth throb and punked spacey guitar work, coming off like a more fun sounding  & playful Hawkwind. Or Echo Base- which starts with this sinister bobbing new wave bass line and female ahh’s,  with samples and weird sounds a plenty and  even some turntable scratching throw in.  Later on it kicks in with funky to mean guitar soloing.

From  disk two  we have Sapphire Wave- that starts with spacey and tripped out banter before the drums kick-in and your well and truly into your trip -as the 18 minute track drifts through dubbed-out bass lines, funky guitar struts and spacey saxophone hazes. The atmosphere just keeps building and building making one almost wish they still did drugs.

Disk three though split into eight track really is  one long morphing track that links into different phases/ themes but with more of an electronic base to them. Starting with Frank Zappa like mumbled dialogue, then drifting in to one melodic electronica meets psychedelic rock theme after another. Oddly this has some of the most commercial and approachable material of the whole set weaved into its trippy soul, so it seems somehow odd to make this so ltd, but really I don’t think Earthmonkey is it for the money.

This whole set stands as a wonderful tripped-out adventure primed to get lost in. With loads of different instrumental and genre textures all bubbling up together. But it never gets too deep or serious,  always keeping a cheeky smile across its lips.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Roger Batty
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