Review | Ulan Bator / Ego:EchoUlan Bator is Frenchies pickled in post-psych Eurovant-Garde of old and their post-punk nouveau-novators alike Overall structures are fairly simple Â just a couple chords apiece. Where it all happens is in the interaction of the instruments, and these guys limit themselves to 4: drums, bass, guitar, keyboards; their respective playing is loop-centric, so narrative thrust proceeds from phase relations shifting in the course of a given song.. Add to that variations like changes in dynamics (e.g crescendo), violent eruptions and anomalous bits (keyboard screes, a flailing guitar, etc.), and so on.
If you catalogued reference points itÂ¹d be Can (specifically chunks built outta marching band snare, stumpy bass and glistening organ), La Monte Young (towards albumÂ¹s end thereÂ¹s a nice breakdown where ensemble parts tumble gently like snow while a swarm of hums fade in and out like car headlights emerging and disappearing in a blizzard at night). And Sonic Youth in modal segments arising outa single-minded strummed tuned guitars.
Producer M.Gira has helped bump all this away from imitation by adopting a dry, muted sound throughout. Where all source material tended toward excess, reverberation and so on, the sound here is clipped and compressed. Though all instrumental sounds are kept discrete, through arrangement and mix they often blend into composite sound FX that are novel and delightful.
As the worldwide underground gathers its forces for its next attack on the mainstream, the small triumphs are begging to build momentum, this being one.