Living in the UK during the tail end of the nineties, I was a regular attendee of a night called Kosmiche, or as my friends referred to it; the Krautrock Club. Held in a dingy backroom of The Garage in Islington, it was a curious mix of motorik rhythms, gothic undercurrents and banging techno for the end of the night when everybody was lagered up. This curious insight into my misspent twenties serves a purpose, mind you the debut album from Melbourne’s Constant Light would be on high rotation at the Krautrock Club, providing the essential ingredients that a Saturday night indie-tinged bacchanalia demands. A percentage of those ingredients spell out ROLAND, with a coruscating Juno-60 synth and 606 Drum Machine providing the rhythmic backbone for the majority of the tracks. Arpeggios rise and fall, synths pulse, psychedelic guitars melt yr brain and melodica soothes the whole lot down before another shot to the moon. What more could you want from a Saturday night?
For fans of Spacemen 3 / Spectrum, Suicide, Neu!, Harmonia, Stereolab, et al., Constant Light repositions the international metronomic underground to a southerly latitude. Has Conny’s studio moved to Collingwood? Quite possibly, given the temper and intent of the sounds contained within Mag-Amplitude. Three-part odyssey “Dreams of Dreams Denied” balances Spaghetti Western beginnings with a motorik, “driving-down-the-freeway-with-the-roof-open” middle section and a delicious slide into the Klaus Schulze-like glacial synths and bass pulses of the third movement. Opener drones to infinity with lashings of ecstatic bliss and rapturous distortion, whilst “Factory Floor” fits right into the now sound of the eternal eighties revival. I can almost imagine the pre-Summer of Love dance floor of Manchester’s Hacienda nightclub heaving to this one, or bringing it into the contemporary milieu, being mixed into a podcast for the Blackest Ever Black label.
On Mag-Amplitude the duo of Sasha Margolis and James Dean channel their experimental, popular and hypnotic qualities showcased on Observations 1 into a potent blend of rhythmic imperatives. With roots firmly planted in the music of the freewheeling Germanic 1970s, the forlorn, rainy 80s and 90s indie-psychedelia, Constant Light take it to the other side and return, without an OD catastrophe in sight, which is pretty good going for a Saturday night. Plug into their endless pulse and drive, just drive!