Thursday, March 31, 2016

Aluk Todolo - Voix (2016)

This is the newest of several instrumental releases by instrumental French occult rockers Aluk Todolo. They've been around for quite a while and have toured with several bands. Though this is the first time I've ever heard their music, it would be safe to say that listeners of the material here will find plenty to like in their previous albums as well. That's a given, as what the listener gets with this record are atmospheres. The record is described as a labyrinth of sounds, and it is truly very transitive. These guys make the kinds of instrumental soundscapes that we love hearing from bands like Tool and Sunn0))) and it comes without the catchy vocal element of the former. It certainly drones, but there's enough to do in the drum work to keep things punchy. I don't feel that there's any life in some of the earlier Sunn0))) that I've heard, with very slow drum work and equally slow guitar drones that sound more like a slumbering giant than a lively explosion of energy. Voix is different, because it gives me precisely what I want to hear, and that would be the kind of active cerebral landscape that I'd almost compare to Steve Roach's more upbeat work. You're getting a polar opposite of the drone that similar acts offer and instead are able to take a literal trip. Possibly even a subconscious one.

This is the kind of record where the musicians themselves and even song titles don't matter. We might as well call them all Banana 1-6 and be done with it, because the listener has come here for the trip and that's exactly what you're getting. To some, this might just sound like one big jam session and it probably is. Though that's the awesome part about it, I think – because it's truly surreal and again, so active compared to other acts that do this stuff. I don't even think the word “act” is the right term for some of those guys, because they're not getting the kind of musical exercise that Aluk Todolo are and it shows. If you don't like rambunctious things, you probably will want to stick with something slower, but since my mind is active 24/7, this seems right up my alley. I'd definitely consider it a solid disc and you'd do well to pick it up, but only if you're willing to forego the droning silence that these atmospheres usually offer. I'd say it's a worthy trade, so get out there and move those legs.

(6 Tracks, 43:00)


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