Title: Plug Music Ramoon
Format: Single LP
Label: Dancing Wayang
Catalogue Number: DWR003
Year of Release: 2009
Ltd Edition of 500
A1 Flamingo Moon
A2 Punk Rocker/Mug Cracker
B1 Don't Stomp On The Silverfish
B2 Ramoon Ramoon
Less instantly likeable than 2007's joyous wash of pulsating drone-fun Super Grease, this release finds Neil Campbell teaming up with an old collaborator from The A Band days Stewart Walden (down here as Stewart Keith), and ex-Hood member John Clyde-Evans (who also currently records under the pseudonym Tirath Singh Nirmala - more about that in this interview with Stylus Magazine).
Opener Flamingo Moon had far too much squelchy synth for my liking, and when it finally resolved into an interesting piano motif, with other noises relegated to the background, it faded out. Very slowly. Annoyingly, slowly.
Punk Rocker/Mug Cracker is two titles for two tracks. I guess the reason the title is written like that, and it's cut on vinyl as one tune, is that the tracks were recorded live, and the improvisation went from one to the next, and they thought - "well ,that was cool, let's keep that in." - so one track it is. Fair enough. But the Punk Rocker bit is largely comprised of some pretty talentless tub-thumping, looped and wibbled about over. The Mug Cracker section (which comes in pretty abruptly, as if one of the group got bored with what had gone before and just overruled the other two) in contrast, is one of those blissed-out drones that wrap you up in themselves and take you off into the aether.
This highlighted to me that when Astral Social Club gets it right, it's astonishingly good, but when it misfires it can leave me cold.
A similar story on Side B though, unfortunately. Don't Stomp on the Silverfish, a great title (but nothing to do with Solomon Silverfish, before all you DFW fans chirp up) fails to get much beyond its clunky loop. When the final section of shouting and sirens started it was more interesting, but was again a bit too late.
Ramoon Ramoon is substantially different, and harked back for me to the heady days of the Vibracathedral Orchestra firing on all cylinders, and made me wish that Dancing Wayang had just recorded 40 minutes of this track and put it out instead.
I still have a few releases to catch up on before getting on with The Letter C - not least the Animal Collective Crack Box - but I think Monster Mittens will be next up.