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After being occupied with the whole Laibach / Roadburn festival buzz and my own new musical venture DruturuM it's finally time to write some album reviews again, since stuff is heaping up already.

Let's start with something very primal yet also sophisticated (or let's just say very roadburny) and still fresh for me, the thirty-seven minute drone landscape "Craters" from Dead Neanderthals.

DEAD NEANDERTHALS - Craters (CD) (2017)

My previous writings about the work of Otto Kokke (saxophone) and René Aquarius (drums), being reviews of their 2016 Roadburn concert, the live tape from that show and the new year's eve surprise "Dolphin", were all descibing the band as a borderline manic free jazz duo.

On "Craters" however they are adding some synths (the drummer must do something, right?) and team up with bass player Maxime Petit for an expansive one-track drone session.

If you just can't get into this type of music especially the fluttering, bubbly sound of the effect-laden saxophone could lead you to describe this as a polished, artistically elevated slow motion fart.
But as I've seen in the hilariously weird flick "Swiss Army Man" just yesterday, you can actually base a whole movie on the poetic beauty of a farting corpse.

If you're generally open to experimental non-AC/DC sounds and thus able and willing to embrace "Craters", it goes far beyond smelly air emissions. While never leaving the realm of drone the Dead Neanderthals are painting a very rich, dark and cinematic scenery here, which offers enough tension and variety in sounds to keep you interested through the whole running time.

So given the right mood and if you're neither too tired nor in a great hurry, this can be a surprisingly easy listening.

At least I could imagine that this side of the band could actually be much more accessible then their free grind jazz freak-outs for some listeners. But if you're more interested in the fast and furious version of Dead Neanderthals I highly recommend the 2015 compilation which I purchased alongside "Craters": "The New Wave Of Dutch Heavy Jazz" also features some other insane jazz extremists like Cactus Truck and Albatre, who really brutalize the shit out of their instruments. Great stuff to discover there!

As I'm typing this there are still low stocks of "Craters" on both CD and vinyl (as well as said compilation) available. And as always there's still the download on bandcamp.

Highlight: Craters (obviously)

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