LP version. The Russian city of Perm takes it's name from the Finno-Ugric word para ma, which translates to faraway land. Indeed, despite being a center of both culture and industry for the Ural region, at 700 miles from Moscow it was far enough away from the heart of the Russian empire to be used as a place of exile in the 19th century for those who fell out of favor with Alexander I. The three musicians who form Gnoomes hail from Perm, and have a deep connection with their home; indeed, their drummer, Pacha, is descended from the Komis, the indigenous pagan people of the area who lived there before Russian culture and orthodox religion overtook it in the late 15th century. Yet rather than being confined or frustrated by their surroundings, the three-piece outfit have used their origins as a springboard to the unknown, via the sky surfing radiance of their debut album for Rocket Recordings, Ngan!, an album suffused with a potent sense of wonder. It's bookended by the enormous twin psychic monoliths of Roadhouse and My Son, which form dreamlike aural travelogues, clocking in at about 15 minutes each, and take influences as diverse as the fiery avant-six-string scree of Atlas Sound, the classic motorik of NEU!, and Kompakt techno, and sculpt them into a wide-eyed, kaleidoscopic sweep of sound that the band themselves, keen to break free of generic convention, dub stargaze. It's a style that nods to the melodic sweetness of The Flaming Lips or Tame Impala as much as the synapse-shifting dynamics of Animal Collective or My Bloody Valentine. Myriads is a sweet, slightly dazed pop song, distantly related to the muse of Syd Barrett, yet filtered through the band's ambitiously hallucinogenic soundworld and propulsive rhythmic drive. Elsewhere, on Moognes the collision of melancholy vocal harmonies, luminous guitar melody, and in-the-red intensity makes for a sound as bracing as it is beatific. Ngan! Is the sound of a band looking above and beyond modern archetypes of guitar-fueled noise in search of a strange and beguiling personal vision, and dissolving barriers of distance, cultural context, and geographical inconvenience with a confident and warm-hearted flourish. For us this is the main mechanism of psychedelic music, the band explain. To connect things, to join this particular experience into a global one. With Ngan!, Gnoomes seem to be on the verge of doing just that.
04. My Son
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