When the link to this record popped into my inbox, I was completely digging the press-kit quotes. ‘influenced by German psychedelia, post-punk, motor city and free improvisation’? These are my favourite buzzwords bands could possibly use. The only problem is, a lot of bands using them lie. With Miki Karoli as my witness, Jinko Vilova aren’t lying.
A bit of context here – the number of records in my collection that would fit into those categories numbers in the hundreds. Would this one sound more like Brain Donor, Julian Cope’s MC5-Kraut-Metal project, or more like Follakzoid, Chilean folks that have released one of 2013’s best albums by rebooting one of 1973’s (Can’s Future Days)? Would it be the remedy to some of the appalling music masquerading as ‘psychedelia’ these days?
First jam on the record ‘Gasoline’ is a hoot. It’s got a rubbery drum beat – think Jaki Liebezeit and Stephen Morris each trying to outthink a Terminator-esque metronome. It’s fucking good. It’s got a far-out guitar humming and buzzing in solo mode in the stratosphere. The singer sounds uncomfortably like Anton Newcombe’s child with Damo ‘God’ Suzuki (imagine that?!) Considering that he’s Spanish, it’s even more impressive. They’ve got the motorik sizzle and squall going on, especially pleasing to the chemically minded amongst us. Around the 5-minute mark, the guitar goes full-on bizarro mind-melting fuzz apocalypse, becoming THE most unorthodox tribute to Cabaret Voltaire I’ve ever heard with clicks and whistles popping in your mind like a bubble of Acid. Fucking A.
Track 2, jam 2, whatever – ‘Nasty’ – is the REAL DEAL. I’m talking as someone that regularly listens to Can. People say they like Can, but do they listen to them every day? Jinko sound like they’re not only overdosing on our German friends’ experimental fuckery, but that they’re living inside some technicolour psychedelic dream. Listen to singer Ander Anchovy on this groove – he’s Damo-ing as good as Mark E. Smith ever did. It’s got that nasty Detroit bass feel that lights up my face like a dovetail joint. Superb.
Going into title-jam ‘Cru’, I’m already baffled. Here comes a wobbly-echo dub groove borrowed straight from Metal Box. DUB! I can’t explain my excitement at typing those three letters. Krautrock and Dub met in John Lydon’s PIL about thirty-five years ago, but here Jinko Vilova feel obliged to let us at it again. Bassist Lander Besa and Carles Esteban on drums are on point throughout the record but here is their shining moment. Fans of Dub and Kraut often find common ground – ganja, the laid back vibes, the sturdy rock-solid bottom end… Here those components melt perfectly. Anchovy, if that is his real name, pontificates about some trip he’s been on into the nether regions of the galaxy. ‘It’s time for war’ he howls before a crisp, fully formed street-walking cheetah of a guitar line comes straight at you.
‘Last Beat’ is one hell of a unique jam. Here’s where the Detroit stink gets overpowering – imagine Wayne Kramer and co bashing out a long-lost sequel to ‘Sister Anne’ on nothing but Charlie and thin air and this is pretty much what you’d get. The guitar slashes like James Williamson at his angriest, Sonic Smith at his most fucked. Imagine Sex Pistols on the brown acid and you’re close. I fucking love this record.
‘Please Don’t Leave Your Luggage Unattended’ is pure devilment. There’s a trumpet. A. Fucking. Trumpet. Do you like Krautrock? Do you like Miles Davis’ performance on Bitches Brew? I needn’t write why this blew my mind, then. If you’re listening to this under the influence, beware. It’s as disorienting as Steve Mackay’s lunatic sax squeals and skronks on Funhouse.
This record flew by, so much so that I listened to it three times writing this & it’s not short by any stretch (the record averages about 7 minutes a track), it’s just engaging in a way a lot of modern Psychedelia isn’t. Altogether now – ‘I AM DAMO SUZUKI!!!!!’
PS. Check out Follakzoid for more of the same.
Scribed by: Ross Horton