13 for ’13: Föllakzoid – Trees

Part 12 of a 13 song recap of my 2013 in no particular order

There was a moment last year that made me feel simultaneously old and yet incredibly excited about the modern world at the same time. It’s been happening a lot lately -despite only being 30 things have moved on so much technologically since I was taping pop songs off the radio on a Sunday afternoon less than two decades ago that any time I try and think about it I feel a bit queasy and have to have a lie down. I was wasting time at work on a forum when I got recommended these guys. The exact line they used was, “Chilean psychedelic space kraut rock odyssey on Sacred Bones.” There’s nothing about that sentence that isn’t brilliant, so naturally I looked on Spotify and downloaded it immediately. I listened to it a short while later on the way home. Somewhere in the laid back psyche reverie I got lost in it struck me:  there I was, sat on a train in the north of England, listening to an album by a South American band riffing on German grooves from 40 years ago recommended to me by a guy in London less than an hour previous. Like it was the most natural thing in the world. Staring out of that train window, my mind caught up in that bizarre spaced precision of a krautrock rhythm, it suddenly occurred to me: the world is a fucking wonderful place.

It probably took about an hour before I’d decided it was actually a shithole again but any record that can inspire such a feeling, however brief, is worthy of praise. It wasn’t just the sudden future shock of the context that lit up that feeling in me – if the recommendation had been a dead end I’d have ignored the majesty of that happenstance and gone back to whining about the train company’s lousy service on Twitter. No, it had to be something that lifted me to that fleeting epiphany. And Follakzoid – II is certainly that. I’ve heard people say this kind of Hallogallo aping stuff is ten a penny – I’d like to know where they’re shopping. This is about as good as this stuff gets for me. Even Neu! themselves filled half of their records with slightly boring failed experiments – whereas II is fillerless. And Trees is the pinnacle – it’s impossible to describe it without descending into druggy cliches or using the same astrological metaphors trotted out for anything as trance inducingly wondrous as this. So I’ll just say that it’s really quite brilliant. It’s music that fades into the background as your thoughts swirl – but it’s not background music. It just leaves space between the hazy lazy guitars and the airtight rhythms for ideas and tangents to fly and burst like fireworks. It’s as inspiring as it is inspired. Föllakzoid made the best tune-in-drop-out album of 2013 by a country mile.

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