Monday, October 20, 2014
Album Review: My Brother The Wind – Once There Was A Time When Space And Time Were One
By evoking the kind of gentile, mind-expanding experiences prompted by bands like Pink Floyd, Amon Düül and Hawkwind, this Swedish quartet (comprising Anekdoten’s Nicklas Barker, Makajodama’s Mathias Danielsson, The Greencoats’ Daniel Fridlund Brandt and Magnolia’s Ronny Eriksson) caused a bit of a stir when they played Roadburn Festival last year and it’s easy to see why.
This latest instrumental album of theirs was tracked in a single day and plays like its been ripped from one single jam. It’s based around a simple premise. First, there’s the set-up. The slow winding up of the background noise like an orchestra warming their instruments. Then comes the bass setting a jazzy pattern as the warping effects begin to grind down, and then finally the rhythmic snare brushing and rolling riff that drag the bass into line to set the pace. “Song Of Innocence”, split into to parts, is essentially a pastiche of tricks that twist and bend the drifting sound whilst the exploratory lead guitar runs through its repertoire of solos utilizing ear-to-ear phonics to mess with the noggin. Wrapped up in a cotton wool fuzz, everything is kept soft , bluesy and echoing gently.
“Into The Cosmic Halo” is the first track to break-out as the hedonistic psych backs off and the riff finally kicks in. By suppressing the drums behind the bass and lead, they have left the album feeling a little cut adrift from its moorings but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Stripping the layers back further MTBW bring in a strong ethnic vibe to produce “Misty Mountainside” and “Garden Of Delights”. Boasting acoustic guitar, bells and tabla drums, the former drags you out to the peace and tranquility of a Himalayan monastery, and then has you breathing in the aromas of a colourful Turkish bazaar. The title-track features yet more acoustic guitar and a sweet build that wobbles about, yet never quite goes anywhere. That is until the bass drive of “Epilogue” takes us floating out the back door on a relaxing tidal wash.
My Brother The Wind apparently don’t need a direction in which to head, a focal point or a sense of purpose. As a consequence their music isn’t necessarily essential listening. It doesn’t provide the sort of experience that demands to be heard in any way. You need to want to go on this journey to appreciate the simple, enigmatic beauty of it. Even the album title has been designed to trigger deep thoughts. This is indeed music that transcends time. It will be rendered redundant in the wrong hands but it will become gold dust in the right ones.