Gnoomes - Ngan! - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Gnoomes - Ngan!

by Sean Hewson Rating:8 Release Date:2015-10-16
Gnoomes are a three-piece from Perm in Russia and Ngan!, on Rocket Recordings, is their debut album. As such, they have chosen to introduce themselves fully on the first track - Roadhouse. It starts out as an acoustic piece in what sounds like a modal-tuning, but with elements of Minimal Techno underneath. Gnoomes then lock into a Motorik groove to which vocal harmonies, fuzz guitar,psychedelic sounds and clean, lead guitar lines are added. It lasts for almost 16 minutes. What's immediately apparent is that, in the sometimes heavy-handed, gear-fetishizing world of modern psychedelic music, Gnoomes have a particular appreciation of sound and restraint in the use of sound. Every nuance is discernible in the mix, the fuzz and distortion are never over-powering. 
Second track, Myriads, is almost a Kraut-pop song. There is another Neu!/Harmonia groove from Alex Pyankov on bass and drummer Pavel Fedoseev, but also two-part harmonies. This gives way first to a section that is reminiscent of William Basinski's tape manipulations in its warm loveliness.  From then on it's fuzz pop to the end. Moognes is Kevin Shields over drum machine as guitarist Dmitriy Konyushevich gets his noisier effects pedals out. Pyankov's lead vocal even sounds like Shields, albeit a lot higher in the mix. Gnoomes describe their sound as Stargaze which is a nod to shoegaze but also to their desire to be separate from, and to move beyond, it. Like Oscar Wilde, they're gazing in the opposite direction.
After these two shorter songs, My Son is another epic. As with Roadhouse, it slowly reveals itself, starting with vocals and ambient sounds. Alex Pyankov's vocal here is closer to Jonsi from Sigur Ros. Again, as the song turns into an extended EBow/Motorik instrumental, there is a subtle dance element to their sound with the use of live and programmed drums being reminiscent of New Order. 
So, with just four tracks, Gnoomes have totally set their stall out - they can do long and short, quiet and loud, there are hints of Techno, Ambient, Krautrock, Shoegaze and Psychedelia. But it's always focussed, tasteful and organised; with a real appreciation for sound. 

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