One of my favourite bands to emerge over the last few years has been Minami Deutsch. The band’s first album arrived like an absolute bolt from the blue… re-imagining a number of Krautrock tropes by adding in a number of other influences, both from within Japan and beyond. Add to this a live presence that is just magnificent… their performance at the 2016 Liverpool PsychFest being a particularly fine example for me… and you have something that is really special.
The band have continued to develop their sound over the intervening years, with this new release… an picture disc EP on the Hoga Nord record label… perhaps being the most innovative one to date.
This may not be entirely obvious when listening to the lead title track, which I am honoured to Premiere here. It is a brilliant slab of motorik with which the band excel. It is a song that really does move along at quite a pace… definitely on the fast lane of the Autobahn. As always the rhythm section is absolutely nailed onto the asphalt… while the guitar work around it is allowed more freedom to move forward on its own expressive way. Basically fans of Minami Deutsch’s work are going to love this.
Satisfyingly the other numbers on this 5 track EP provide a wonderful level of variety, starting with a really lovely cover of ‘Israel Blues’, originally released in 1968 by cult US 1960s band The Index. This really is a lush version of that song… which I must admit was a new one on me.
‘Nishi No Jiku’ is also a really lush and really full track which is given added emotion by a lovely Japanese vocal which would get Kikagaku Moyo fans melting. This is because it has that same balance of melancholic regret and pure hard driving psychedelic rock that Miniami Deutch’s fellow countrymen have. The repeato riff here is absolutely spot on.
For me, however, it is the two remixes of ‘Can’t Get There’ which really take this release to to next level. The first by Mythologen is an absolutely superb motorik/ techno hybrid which just works superbly well… I can imagine this banging out late into the night and just filling that dance floor… The second is by Jamie Paton and gives the track a more experimental edge, keeping it very much in the psych genre with particular nods out towards electronica… the beat being twisted into something related to the original but given an altogether darker hue.
All in all this is a really excellent EP from Hoga Nord, available digitally and as a vinyl picture disc. Available to pre-order here.
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