GAF y La Estrella de la Muerte – Pyramids (Discrepant)


I heard the track ‘Wormhole 74’ from Canary Island ensemble GAF y La Estrella de la Muerte and had to know more. It was just so beautifully odd, with synth and live drums, alongside modular percussion, and (maybe) organ, that all operates in a polite yet almost cheeky manner and possesses a real energy and exuberance. With motorik rhythms and minimal ingredients, there is something almost perverse about how triumphant it becomes – without necessarily changing all that much. It’s so difficult to categorise, hard to know what it is. But maybe that’s the point, and maybe it doesn’t really matter anyway.

It turns out it was recorded over three days in the Canary Islands, in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, at the height of the covid pandemic of 2020. As a seven piece ensemble they recorded over five hours of improvisations that they’ve since edited down without overdubs into seven pieces at over 69 minutes. It’s an approach quite reminiscent of Portuguese trio Niagara, and I think it’s that shared looseness and inspired weirdness that would be impossible to compose, is what initially drew me in.

It’s such a strange and inspired album, it really feels like a band who are having a jam, these elongated instrumental pieces that just when you think you have their measure, they introduce just one more (often subtle) element that simultaneously works, but you feel shouldn’t necessarily be there. They call themselves a ‘psychedelic, experimental, space rock music collective, ’which feels pretty apt, as there’s definitely a kind of hypnotic cosmic spiritual zen like feel to their music. And their yen for experimentation and strange amalgamations of sounds just elevates it further.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.