The Alps Easy Action on LP
The Alps' third studio album, Easy Action follows III (2008) and Le Voyage (2010) – both released by Type (UK). While those preceding albums fused the cinematic art funk of Serge Gainsbourg and Jean Claude Vannier with the studio experimentation of BBC's Delia Derbyshire and the pastoral wind–in–face breeze of Agitation Free, Easy Action takes a different approach, both in sound and in process.
Cloaked in a film of sun – bleached fuzz ("Today & Tomorrow," "For Isabel"), Easy Action revels in a blown/blissed out sound that suggests any number of things, from Broadcast to Sun Araw or Boredoms. The title track, which opens Side B, showcases the kind of laid back bliss of Flower Travelin' Band if they'd been able to travel in time from '70s Japan to a Moogy wonderland. Meanwhile, the ecstatic drum and fuzz of "Spray" recalls the Brazilian beach jams of Lula Cortez and Zé Ramalho's legendary album Paebiru.
Elsewhere, tracks such as "Reflection for Peter Green" showcase something utterly new for the group. A solo piece for electric guitar played by Georgopoulos, it is an intimate pastoral window, a drive down a country road as filmed by Michelangelo Antonioni. Scott Hewicker's piano playing comes to the fore throughout Easy Action and especially on Side A closer "Loves of a Blonde," a track born of a distorted tamboura that would make Sunroof! blush which gradually transforms into a tranquil idyll defined by open space and Jef Cantu's infinitely cascading guitar. Then, of course, there's the epic "Instant Light" – perhaps the album's centerpiece – a track Werner Herzog would surely salivate over.
This is the first time the group have combined studio recordings with home recordings and further processing – primarily through analog pedals and synths – in quite this way. Taking a cue from Faust's legendary Faust Tapes sessions, which combined jams in a rather obtuse, sometimes jarring way, the result is collage – like, playing like an otherworldly dream where figures, landscapes and memories emerge out of the haze.