Kohoutek - Curious Aroma MIE 034
The comet Kohoutek was first seen near earth by a Czech astronomer in March of 1973. David Berg, founder of religious cult Children of God, predicted its passing would cause armageddon the following year. A more welcoming family, the Sun Ra Arkestra, performed a concert dedicated to Kohoutekon December 12th, just two weeks before it came as close to our globe as it ever would.
All of this could be insignificant trivia surrounding the name that Philly-by-way-of-D.C. band Kohoutek chose for itself. But somewhere in between all those early 70’s deductions, interactions, and overreactions might just live the keys to this group’s expanding music. Inside their open, winding, slow-burning soundscapes lies the hard-edged reality of cosmic science, the hypnotic magic of mass-mind superstition, and the infinite paths of Saturn-bound outer spaceways.
On Curious Aroma, that solar-seeking mix manifests as two spacious, patiently-developing LP sides. The music has the everything-works spirit of improvisation, but Kohoutek are just as curious about shapes and forms, equally interested in seeing which lines they can color inside and which they can bend and break apart. Guitars pick through the thickly-textured sonic space built by electronics and percussion, unafraid to knot or tangle, yet nimble enough to find gaps where others might blur. The rhythmic curves traced by bass and drums prove as apt for psych-drenched heaviness as they are for cloudier foundations.
One side floats forward and backward and sideways until it wraps around space-time; the other melds sparks of feedback and distortion into metal lumber so hard you can touch it through your speakers. Along the way, Kohoutek conjure the ghost of their daunting live shows, which trek through so much aural territory it’s a wonder you can still make out the band by the end.
To call these two fully-realized explorations “journeys” would be fair but insufficient. There are paths here that Kohoutek gradually move through, but that motion has the rare, intangible quality of sounding both spontaneous and guided, both new and determined. In other words, throughout the spaces which they travel on Curious Aroma, Kohoutek might not necessarily know where they’re going, but they sure do know how to get there.
Marc Masters, Washington, DC, July 2015
350 12" LPs with d/l codes.
Out on the 6th November
- Side A
- Side B