Gnoomes Ngan! on Limited Edition Import LP
The three musicians who form Gnoomes hail from Perm, Russia and have a deep connection with their home. Yet rather than being confined or frustrated by their surroundings, the group have used their origins as a springboard to the unknown, via the skysurfing radiance of their debut album for Rocket Recordings, Ngan! "We think about isolation as a dream trigger, and sometimes a dream becomes a motivation to do something cool," Gnoomes explains. "Being in a band is the one thing that keeps us from Russian madness."
Ngan! is 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 around a quarter-hour each, and take influences as diverse as the fiery avant-six-string scree of Atlas Sound, the classic motorik of Neu! and Kompakt label 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 which 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 nothing less than a sweet and somewhat 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 adds. "To connect things, to join this particular experience into a global one." On the evidence of Ngan! Gnoomes would appear to be on the verge of doing just that.