Review: Goat ‘Seu Sangue’ EP
Goat, who you may have heard of, are the Swedish collective known for wearing masks, bizarre costumes and incorporate afrobeat/worldbeat into their psych-influenced sound. The band are currently based in Gothenburg (famous for the metallic likes of At the Gates, In Flames and Dark Tranquility), but claim to originate from a Norrbotten voodoo sect in Korpilombolo.
So far, the band have released four full-length albums, the most recent of which was last year’s Oh Death. Seu Sangue (Portuguese for your blood), the band’s latest release, is a collection of four remixes of cuts taken from the aforementioned Oh Death album as well as a brand-new unreleased track. I was advised to stress that the EP is just a bit of fun and not to be taken ‘too’ seriously. That said, there is a lot to be serious about, such is the calibre of guest musicians; Thor Harris and Sonic Boom to name but two, which only serves to make the prospect of reviewing this here EP even more enticing.
We kick things off with the 12” Extended Remix of the lead single from Oh Death, Under No Nation undertaken by MIEN‘s John Mark Lapham (formerly of The Earlies). The remix conjures memories of early ‘80s hip-hop, The Tom Tom Club and ESG. Additional percussion is provided by former Swans member Thor Harris, whose presence is admittedly a little surprising seeing as his former employers weren’t exactly known for their levity or funkiness (even speaking as a superfan). This is a fun and upbeat opener with which to get the party started.
Next, we have noise-rock remix master $hit & $hine (Craig Clouse) who gives the tribal rhythms of Do The Dance, a more Industrial tinge with moments that recall The Velvet Underground at their darkest and most experimental (White Light/White Heat era). It’s raw, uncompromising, and offers a brilliant contrast to its brighter sounding predecessor.
A certified triumph…
From there we have the legend that is Sonic Boom (Pete Kember) of Spacemen 3, Spectrum and Experimental Audio Research. If you are familiar with those projects, then it’s of no great surprise that Kember would choose the fuzzier tones of Soon You Die which he puts through a Stooges filter and when combined with Goat‘s own eclectic influences, it makes for some pretty spectacular results as well as a sound not overly dissimilar to Here Lies Man. In fact, the track sounds so authentically 1970s that if you were offered no context and gave it a blind listen, you would swear it came directly from that decade.
The last remix comes from Marlene Ribeiro of Manchester noise/psych/krautrock/industrial crew GNOD and follows the solo album she released earlier this year, Toquei No Sol that was reviewed by my Shaman friend and colleague Lee Beamish. Her interpretation of Remind Yourself can be described as something of a minimalist masterpiece that sees an already laid-back and mellow number, stripped back even further until you are left with nothing but the carcass of what is described in the promotional notes as ‘organic techno raga’, lovely stuff (to quote Partridge).
Seu Sangue, the sole original track, is a beautiful slice of droning psych-folk loveliness with a naturalistic quality that helps bring the whole affair to a restrained, yet blissful conclusion.
As a teen in the 1990s, I might have baulked at the idea of my favourite tracks being given the remix treatment, what makes this release so successful is both its brevity and variety. A certified triumph and one which I have come to expect from Goat.
Label: Rocket Recordings
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp
Scribed by: Reza Mills