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2016-10-02

KANDODO / MCBAIN - Lost Chants / Last Chance

And now... something a little bit different. Space rock with a twist!




KANDODO / MCBAIN - Lost Chants / Last Chance  (white vinyl 2LP) (2016)

Kandodo is a british instrumental band consisting of the recent Loop rhythm section Hugo Morgan (bass) and Wayne Maskell (drums), who both also happen to fuel The Heads, and guitarist Simon Price, who is also part of The Heads.
So basically Kandodo is 3/4 of The Heads. When I had the pleasure to see them live last year they were joined - incest galore - by Loop's mastermind Robert Hampson.

On this double LP however they have joined forces with John McBain, early member of stoner rock giants Monster Magnet, and responsible for guitars, keyboards and production.

The result of this joint is something you could call a double double album.

Why double the "double"? Well, it is in fact a double album in the traditional sense that it is one album which spans two records. Yet one the other hand those records contain two seperate albums. Yes, this sounds illogical.

The solution lies in the speed switch:
If you spin the records at 45 rpm you're listening to "Lost Chants", slowing it down to 33 rpm means you're listening to "Last Chance".
Even the titles of the five tracks slow down as "Holy Syke" becomes "Holiest Syke" or the "Pelagic Blue Hazes" turns into a "Pelagic Deep Blue Haze".


This might read like a joke, as every record collector sets the wrong speed from time to time. And occasionally you accustom to the sped up or slowed down version and like it even better than the original. (In my case it's the "Roman Acupuncture" EP by Bölzer.)

So surely any band could just claim to release two records in one.
But it isn't that easy. In most cases the wrong tempo will feel unnatural - at least at some point (like when vocals set in) or in some details like weird tuning or percussion sounds. Or just the general feeling that in no way someone would play this way.

And here comes the great thing John McBain achieved here: everything sounds not only plausible, but also seriously good, no matter if 33 or 45 rpm.

So you really have two seperate albums with different moods. And since this isn't a work that needs to be listened to in one complete sitting anyway, you can also mix it up by starting with side C on 45 rpm and continuing with side D on 33 and so on, thus multiplying the albums herein even further.




Musically you get what the band names mentioned beforehand promise: the urgency of The Heads, the rhythmic hypnotism of Loop and the space and desert rocking licks and riffs of Monster Magnet, all of those being only pieces in a greater puzzle, which is nothing but a master class lesson in psych rock.

It massively feeds from the individual experience of the seasoned musicians, always finds the right balance between giving you enough room to float in the waves and not dragging it out too much.

There's always something captivating happening while Kandodo / McBain timelessly tie the inevitable traces of Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, King Crimson and their peers and heirs with their very own vibe.

While "Lost Chants" in its overall impression tends more to the classic and lighter side of space (comparable to bands like Causa Sui), the slowdown opens doors to greater gravity and a pinch of drone, especially with the twenty-one minute album opener "Really Blown Out" sounding a lot like something Bong could have come up with.

Again: both speeds are equally entertaining. (And I know that there are indeed reviews out there that don't even mention this whole thing, which is perfectly fine.)
Tendentially "Lost Chants" is for the Sunday afternoon while the late summer sun falls into the window, while "Last Chance" is more suited for the post concert Autobahn drive in the middle of the night.

Of course you don't play records in your car, but thankfully you get a download card which includes both mixes.


The beautiful white vinyl comes in a shiny gatefold with protected sleeves.
And the charmingly punky collage artwork simply is ace.

The album is also available on black vinyl or as double CD. 


Highlights: Blowed Out, Really Blowed Out, Pelagic Deep Blue Haze, Chant Of The Ever Circling, Megladon't Ever


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