Imbogodom - The Metallic Year

by Ol Haill Rating:6.5 Release Date:2010-08-02

Imbogodom, a duo who began their mysterious musical collaboration deep in the neo-Gothic depths of London's Bush House, seem to be exponents of the 1950s concept of musique concrète, an experimental musical form that uses tape loops and other sound recordings as its building material - the Doctor Who theme tune is one well-known example - and could be said to be a predecessor of mashup styles of Cassetteboy and the like.

Unlike the whimsical mashupmen, Imbogodom are more serious exponents of an otherworldly art. The duo is a new moniker for New Zealand sound engineer Daniel Beban, a BBC World Service radio engineer, and UK musician and illustrator Alexander Tucker, who took advantage of the empty studios at Beban's employers Bush House and - dusting off the disused reel-to-reel tape machines and using an array of instruments, objects, dictaphones and voices - have created a Frankenstein's monster of an album.

The Metallic Year is malevolent and certainly alive with ideas and feelings, but not for the faint of heart. The tracks bristle with sharp beeps and bells and deep groans and thuds. Their MySpace calls it "microphones dragged through the bog". There is variety here too.

'Indosap', for one, is a beautifully coruscating non-melody reminiscent of light and shade; another, 'Bvsh Hovse Ghost' a haunting metaphor of the ghost-in-the-machine that this pair are striving to evoke; while 'Calibos' sounds a little like a futuristic orchestra warming up to play Aphex Twin's 'Windowlicker'.

This is unquestionably not easy listening in any sense, in fact to a newcomer to this genre, this is frankly difficult listening and many of a certain age walking in to hear this album would assume that something was either wrong with the apparatus playing the music or the person listening to it - or both. Freakzone stuff. All the same Imbogodom's The Metallic Year is an ethereal magnum opus for the genre; suitable for adding a Lynchian sense of foreboding and drama to any menial household task, I'd recommend it for just that to any housewife, freelance graphic designer or novelist striving to imbue their daily work with a darker dramatic note. Fans of the strange will love it.

There is a limited run of 500 vinyl as well as, presumably, a download release.

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