You know, generally I don’t give a fuck about these kind of definitions, but when Goat‘s first album was out, three of four years ago, and they were announced as the next big thing into psychedelic-rock, this time, well, the critics were finally and absolutely right.
Goat presented themselves since from the first moment as a very original and eccentric and mysterious complex. I’m not just talking about their music. Their identities are generally considered as a mystery. Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, they claim to hail from Kopilombolo, which has a history of voodoo worship after a witch doctor came and lived there. Supposedly, when Christian crusaders came and destroyed the village the surviving people fled and placed a curse on the town.
At the same time, their music itself it seems to have a special alchemy and made of voodoo rituals and esotherism contents. They described their songwriting process as something that has to do necessery with instinct, because they’re not used to play songs, but just to make music, so that their songs are in practice never really finished. They don’t know how they will end up even when they start recording.
Anyway, they sounded just great and so different, original between what everyone of us was used to listen to. More than this, their music was inevitably accompanied by a kaleidoscope and visionary allucinate context made of plenty of colors and images that remind to a culture far from suburban psychedelia or the same old good tradition of sixties psychedelia devoted to themes derivated from eastern cultures and religions and their heritage traditions and schools of thinking.
‘Requiem’, as their predecessors, it’s what Goat themselves would have defined an album of ‘world music’, because of the many influences in the sound of the band and also because they continued in adopting that kind of multi-ethnic approach to their music and compositions, always combining in the end all of these in an unitary process and content.
The album opens with ‘Dj r Len / Union of Sun and Moon’, starting with what appears a sort of invocation to the mysterious magic of the voodoo and the ancient divinities of African Mythology, gods existing from the dawn of time, and later opening itself in a Latin American folk song in the style of the Chilean music which made famous bands like the Inti-Illimani.
Plenty of visions and flavours from every part of the world starts to invade our senses and our bodies as we were been involved in a magic collective ritual, an orgy made of sound and people coming from every part of the world. A fucking collective schizofrenic therapy session, where everyone is going to stand up and say something appearently no-sense but all the others understand perfectly what he does mean.
The album shows all of the skills and abilities of the band, able to move appearently from a genre to an other, but mantaining a sense of unity in all the album. ‘Goodbye’, ‘Try My Robe’ pays homage to the western African music and to the tishoumaren in generale, with a particular regard to Tinariwen; ‘Troubles In The Streets’ make me think to what I consider an incredible band unfortunately not much remembered. I’m talking of the Dur-Dur Band from Mogadishu, Somalia, a group which were able in an unexpected era and place to melt together funk, soul and disco, sonorities that we also could recognize in the trip acid session of the Goat. Even if they play bossa nova with an appearently out of sense solo by a flamenco guitar (‘Psychedelic Lover’), in the esotic sonorities of ‘It’s Not Me’ and The Rolling Stones-styled ‘All-Seeing Eye’.
If ‘Goatfuzz’ and ‘Goatband’ sound typically fuzz psychedelia, a mention apart it’s necesseary for ‘Ubuntu’, the last track of the album that remind to me of a song by The Brian Jonestown Massacre from their album, ‘Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?’ (2010), ‘Felt Tipped-Pen Pictures of UFOs’, that actually reprised and mixed the famous declaration by John Lennon saying that, ‘The Beatles were bigger than Jesus’. The song is permeated by a dreamy and crystalline atmosphere and there’s a discussion going on slowly under a repetitive sound of a synth. Don’t know, it’s a song which make me think about creation. I mean, creation in the sense of the moment of birth. You’re coming to the world, opening slowly your eyes to finally see the light and you hears some words that for you they don’t mean absolutely nothing. They’re just a dazed and confused sound and something you’re in the very most of the cases going to forget in a while. When they finally cut your umbilical cord and you’re finally here. Requiem? An act of God, the primordial principle that creates the universe through a process of manifestation and expression of the divine spirit. A process that gives order, life and motion to matter. The creator, the engine, the mystical source of all existence, who nourishes the matter of universe and the power that gives form to the substance and ordinates the right balance from life and death. You’re welcome among us right now.