Picture the scene. Deep in the heart of Bavaria an experimental psyche festival is underway. Curated by Irmit Schmidt of Can and Florien Schneider of Kraftwerk, an eclectic mix of the world’s eccentric and avant-garde, old and new, have been invited to display their artistry.
Amongst attendees, United Kingdom’s emerging sonic deviants Hookworms have fallen into conversation with Faithless architect and vocalist Rollo. Loaded on the strongest hops Deutschland delivers, it’s not long before an inquisitive David Byrne decides to join the patter only to be accosted by Pere Ubu guitarist Peter Laughner, whose dilated pupils allude to being loaded on everything else. A devilish jam ensues and before long Laughner has tainted the collection with his treats, at times turbulent and others ethereal the playing continues incessantly until the sun greets the dawn then, amidst the embers of burning synths and smoking fretboards, today’s Track of the Day by The Disappears was somehow forged.
To readers that might sound magical, and believe me it is, but not of the benevolent sort. ‘Ultra’ channels a force not to be reckoned with as the nine minute ride by the Chicago musicians drags us so close to the bottom of the abyss that when we resurface chins are bleeding and synapses collapse. Backward tracks dubbed with the moans of dark entities only exacerbate the already heavy energy of the record and when coupled with that progressive knocking effect, of what sounds like an iron bar on a cell door, makes for tantalising yet uneasy listening. As if the atmosphere couldn’t become any denser, monotone lyrical projections for the clinically deranged drown our already scarpering senses into submission:
“Does it end together, does it end soon?”
“If you go I’ll go, if you go I’ll go”
I’m often left to wonder what it is that steals my undivided attention with such tracks, there must be something, as in essence ‘Ultra’ is a nine minute long piece of repetition about as vibrant as a turn of the century asylum and considering all of the above it shouldn’t appeal human nature. But it does, in fact, appeal to every last part. Apprehensive to what detailed exploration may reveal, I’m going to leave it as simple and penetrative as the track itself and sign off with one word… Brilliant.