Gnod ‘The Somnambulist’s Tale’
Aguirre Records, 2008 / 2014 (Belgium)
Belgian label Aguirre has just reissued the disturbing debut from weirdo Manchester collective Gnod. I was introduced to these guys through last year’s ‘Dwellings & Druss’ (Trensmat), a pretty straightforward, Berlin style experimental electronics record. ’The Somnambulist’s Tale’ is a more organic affair, driven by a similar motorik rhythm that’s more tribal than techno.
The psychedelic sounds here range from 70s horror soundtrack synths under hand drum patterns to more measured and melodic jams that sound like a Kraut-ier version of a ‘New Weird America’ act.
[Gnod has, ahem, gnodded to the NWA scene in interviews, and takes on a few of its idiosyncrasies: They've got a rotating cast of members (more than 30 since 2007), have released more than 20 CD-Rs, and host a club night in which the crowd plays along, something their label attributes to a “punky belief in the dissolution of the boundary between artist and audience…”]
Curiously, this is apparently one of their more calculated recordings. And that’s thanks to the inclusion of a hang, a strange steel percussion instrument, that one of the members brought back from Switzerland. According to a profile in this month's Wire, this forced the group to play their instruments a little quieter to leave "more space (for the) hang to breathe."
Gotta let that hang hang.