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Cavern Of Anti-Matter
Hormone Lemonade Julian Marszalek , March 22nd, 2018 08:20

It’s weird, it’s psych, it’s cerebral, and you can dance to it.

The conundrum faced by any artist with a degree of longevity and particular musical bent: how to move forward once your volume of work surpasses that of the music that influenced you. It’s a question that must have run through Tim Gane’s mind, not least during his lengthy tenure with Stereolab and now with this, the third album from Cavern Of Anti-Matter.

In the case of Hormone Lemonade, the appropriate response has been consolidation. So while it’s fair to say that the musical wheel isn’t being reinvented, it has been given a new set of tyres with snazzy treads to aid with its forward motion and propulsion. More than on their previous albums, guitarist and producer Gane and drummer Joe Dilworth, along with synth and drum machine maestro Holfger Zapf, have narrowed their focus on rhythm and beats aimed at right at your hips and your dancing feet.

As evidenced by the smiling, gurning and grooving reaction to their barnstorming Saturday night set at 2016’s Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia, Cavern Of Anti-Matter make music made for dancing. Sure, they also make music to gouch out to, but here the trio has taken a streamlined approach that serves them well.

The opening 60 seconds or so of the 16-minute calling card ‘Malfunction’ are swathed in layers of retro-futurist synths. Initially evoking those 1970s late-night TV lectures from the Open University, presented by chaps with unkempt facial hair and corduroy jackets, its deceptive parps soon give way to something more urgent and squelching. The beats echo, the bass throbs and the call to the dancefloor is strong. If you want more bounce to the ounce, this is where to get it.

Similarly, but more concisely, ‘Make Out Fade Out’ pumps at a glorious rate, while the rollicking and driving ‘Outerzone Jazs’ is probably best experienced gazing out of train window travelling through central Europe. ‘Phase Modulation Shuffle’ harks back to the stereophonic lounge experiments of Stereolab and with ‘Automatic Morning’ you’ll find undeniable nods to Harmonia.

Not that this is problematic. Cavern Of Anti-Matter stamp enough of their own sonic ideas and fattened-up low end to bring these ideas up to date and into the second decade of the 21st century. Moreover, the canny sequencing of the material knows that the downward journey from the top of the peak is best served by cerebral moments and wide-eyed consideration. An immersive journey, to be sure, it’s one worth taking the time out for to experience in a single sitting.