- by Rob Taylor Release Date:2017-04-20 Label: Sacred Bones
Astral uber-jammers, Föllakzoid collaborate with Jason Pearce of Spiritualised (J. Spaceman) on re-workings of ‘Electric’ and ‘Earth’, the first two tracks from their 2015 album, III. The original versions had an altogether different momentum, a racier pulse. The metrics reminded me, in the case of ‘Electric’, of Floyd’s ‘Run Like Hell’. The original 'Electric' is muddy, dense and frenetic, catapulting forward with promise of resolution, but instead teasing the listener with unresolved phrases.
On the collaborative version of ‘Electric’, the sound is cleaner and harmonically different. The warping of the guitar lines give the track a disembodied sound, the overall ensemble crisper with a more conspicuous percussion. The layering of instruments is more obvious. This version doesn't share the original's implied anxiety, so there's no storm in need of a port.
On ‘Earth’ Föllakzoid’s original version growled like a wounded beast, a dark and resonant sound with indistinct vocals. Different again from the collaboration with J. Spaceman in that Follakzoid’s metronomically purposeful version is given a new, more sluggish rhythm which suggests aloofness. Moreover, the different instrumental layers are again less muted, and J. Spaceman’s version culminates with an awesome collision of guitars and percussion, delivering on a promise of resolution never offered by the original version. Whereas the original finds peace in a solemn outro, the newer version refuses to yield, jumpy to the end.
The re-articulation of the music is very pronounced unlike many re-workings. Played alongside, the opposing versions are revelatory in their own way, but J. Spaceman has brilliantly identified what lurked just beneath the surface of Föllakzoid's music.