Italy - Full Moon 124 - 11/05/06
Several years ago, when Godspeed played epic gigs that lasted upwards of two hours, and their music was transportative rather than tedious, the possibilities of instrumental guitar music seemed endless. Now, with Mogwai's latest album a pale shadow of former glories, and very few bands managing to shake free of the now-meaningless 'post-rock' tag and create music that transcends influences and tired progressions, it's even more remarkable to discover instrumental guitar music that can truly inspire.
The Traum/Trauma EP by Italian quintet Weltraum is truly inspiring. Over the course of two long tracks and 23 minutes, Weltraum transport the listener through cavernous emotional arcs, from despair to euphoria and all the shades of subtle feeling shimmering between.
Most distinctively, Mimmo Napolitano's synth whoops, groans and screams over the rock-solid bed of two guitars, bass and drums. Nothing repeats for long, all the instruments tightly roiling around each other, sounding as though they're moving together like a mass of snakes - but each one is moving alone, changing, shifting, bleeding.
Every time I listen to this remarkable CD I appreciate something new. The 23 minutes must be heard all the way through to allow the themes to sink into your consciousness, and for the monumental moment at the start of 'Trauma' when the whole band chimes in with a heavenly chord progression, like the best shoegaze band you've ever heard.
Copyright © 2006 Tim Clarke