Monday, September 13, 2010

Sotos - Platypus (1999)

I suppose I'll just make this my "obscure avant-prog band of the month". For those that do know, it's mostly because of the connection to the wonderous Bob Drake. The drummer behind such bands as Thinking Plague and 5uu's records this ambitious French quintet in their debut album, Platypus. Named after a syndrome that causes cerebral gigantism, the music gives a similar feeling with dizzying compositions serving as constant reminders of composers such as Bela Bartok or Igor Stravinsky. The chamber sound and jolted strings are something that purveys most of the works of this genre, as well as a frequent need for strong drumming, which is abundant here.
Even with those "restraints" (restraints in much the same way that all thrash bands need a distorted guitar speeding through riffs) this band manages to sneak in more modern interpretations. Some slight use of sampling here and there, some slight noise rock additions, and plenty of riffage, making them sound maybe closer to Doctor Nerve than they do Henry Cow.
It seems that the first seven tracks are combined as a whole to form one continuous track, Malstrøm . Part 2 may stand out as my favorite, but I do admire when they get into some of Magma-esque, fusion grooves, as in Pt. 6. Also, after the first 7 parts, you get the 27+min "Wu" which is more of the same, but not ploddingly so. It frequently feels quite a bit less structured than the previous Malstrøm, however, so it may be a little out of place being on the same record.

1 comment:

  1. This was released in 2002, their original release was 1999 and is very hard to find