The first thing that hits you, well hit me at least, about this record from German trio Kalamata is the bass. A dark, constant, consistent, chugging bass. It just never lets up and provides the bedrock for this album of stoner rock, jazz flourishes, space guitar excursions, psych atmospheres and deft drumming.
Kalamata have been active since 2014 and this is their second album, and their first for Tonzonen Records. It is one of those records that you start listening to and just get lost in. There’s a lot here, but none of it is over done. Yes there are massive stoner riffs, but they don’t dominate like they do on so many records. There’s also melody and a deftness to many of the tracks that never pushes over into sentimentality, how could it when there’s another monster riff round the corner. The point is that these two forms are woven together by the band in a way that feels very natural.
This then is an album that has darkness in it, but isn’t intrinsically dark. By the same token is has a lightness to it as well, but is by no means flightly and frivolous. It is an album that is holding a number of competing elements in balance. Though this you can feel both harmony and tension, themselves being balanced very well. And that can be as disruptive as anything extreme.
Most of the music I listen to is quite dark and dour. It has lots of repetition and lots of dark corners. This album from Kalamata has dark corners for sure, but it somehow shines a light into them without revealing their mystery all together. Its an album to listen to when I’m feeling ok…and want to stay that way. This does not mean that the music itself is in any way ‘beige’ or flat, rather it sits in a sort of equilibrium that is so often difficult to achieve.
‘Disruption’ is limited to 500 copies on orange black marbled vinyl and includes poster & d/l code. Available now from Tonzonen Records.