April 19, 2024

Third Culture Kings – “Is That Light You Carry?”      Trippy, dubby, spaced out sonic pleasure

INTERNET AND WEED RECORDS / 100.000 RECORDS        18th August, 2017

A Glorybox / dälek joint effort, this carries the special mark of being largely recorded on a couple of smartphones. Wild and lazy beats underpin drifty songs, weed inflected intonation, slack and baggy Manchester-isms, urban grime. Trippier, busier beats innovate and play with time and space. It’s one to bliss out to. Released on New York Internet and Weed Records as well as 100.000 Records from Bandung in Java, this provenance is as eclectic as the music. Pop down to your local warung in Yogyakarta and buy a cassette of it (also available as a download…..).

Jan Johansen (Glorybox) and Alap Momin (dälek) got together and the ideas came out then got all dubby. Momin created the beats, bass and many of the synth lines on his phone, while Johansen then added vocals, guitar, vibraphone, piano, horns, Rhodes piano and melodica on his, to be added to the finished tracks.

Bass gets deep and vocals come with effects – maybe distant crooning or nineties Madchester or warped and wrapped phasing freakiness. Down-tempo dance (“sunlight only shines for so long”) ramps up in intensity and is succeeded by a low-key banger. Falling-star synths, arpeggios and distant beat synthesiser float past. The Beatles’ I Wanna Be Your Man gets mashed and distorted, deconstructed. This and Done And Gone make me think of Suicide and their paring down to a pulse, as they bring a dark Country vocal line to a strange duplex of beats. Slow and achy is a vocal theme, swapped sometimes for insouciant. Othertimes it gets down and dirty with low-slung beats, like SevenSlayers or in your face like the ripped, borrowed and different Higher Than The Sun.

The mix of the woozy and the forward moving is hypnotic and makes this album very more-ish. No matter what your current blood chemistry, this will make you feel as stoned as a bag of green without the side-effects.

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