The players sit down. The tape starts rolling. ‘Ladies and gentlemen…’ announces the MC, ‘the very best of order. Drumroll, maestro, please.’
The drum begins rolling. A tom-tom, mind, not a snare. Then more drums. And then more. Then a mysterious bass tone joins the party. Welcome, my friends, to the drums that never end – perhaps unsurprisingly, Man Forever is the solo project of Kid Millions, the sticksman in the experimental rock outfit Oneida.
Fortunately, there’s more to Pansophical Cataract than drums, drums and more drums; whilst they are ever present, the rhythmic, ritualistic pounding soon becomes enveloped by hazy, heavily effected guitars on “Surface Patterns”; a shoegazey gauze of tones and echoes. The gradual build-up of sound continues gradually across the 18-minute duration until the inevitable conclusion is reached. The other track on the album, “Ur Eternity” sticks fairly closely to the established template, only the treatment is dirtier and more aggressive, the drums perhaps have more of a basic kit set-up rather than tuned toms. But there’s the width of a rolling paper between them really.
This is an album that needs to be played loud, so the force of the drums reaches a physical threshold (careful doing this with headphones on, though); much like the Boredoms’ various drum-centric projects, there is a dimension to the music beyond merely listening to it. This is not a record to sit quietly in the background – it needs to be experienced. (Jeremy Bye)