Neptunian Maximalism

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Eons (2020), 7.5/10 Links:

Belgian ensemble Neptunian Maximalism, originally founded by guitarist Guillaume Cazalet and saxophonist Jean-Jacques Duerinckx with drummers Sebastien Schmit and Pierre Arese, rediscovered the link between Sun Ra's astral music, John Coltrane's free jazz and psychedelic rock.

The mini-album The Conference Of The Stars (2018) is mainly devoted to the 16-minute The Conference Of The Stars, a manifesto of their fusion of free-jazz, psych-rock and drone-metal (alas weakened by awkward recitation).

The triple-disc Eons (2020) added Reshma Goolamy (bass), Romain Martini (guitar), Didie' Nietzsche (electronics), Joaquin Bermudez (electric saz) and Alice Thiel (synth). This collective recorded an album that is really a trilogy. The first part is dedicated to the Earth, and it opens with the gargantuan tribal dance Daiitoku-myoo no Odaiko. Nganga (8:35) evokes an absurdist pantomime with Gong jamming with and Urban Sax and 100 street musicians. The propulsive momentum peaks with the anthemic pagan ritualistic crescendo of Ptah Sokar Osiris (9:16), like Crash Worship duelling with Von Lmo. Enuma Elis (7:10) instead focuses on free-form and cacophonous interplay. The "Moon" section opens at the border of tribal and chaotic with Zar (7:05) and then delves into Indian-psychedelic dimensions with the three-movement 16-minute Vajrabhairava. The 12-minute Ol Sonuf Vaoresaji is a more subtle venture into dissonant chamber music. The "Sun" album tests the listener's patience with the extended drones of Eos (18:32), like SunnO))) lost in a maze of mirrors, one drone rising after the other, like tidal waves, until a shamanic invocation (12-minute mark) breaks the equilibrium and leads to a slow fadeout. Sitar noise and a melismatic prayer fuel Heliozoapolis (15:24), another emitter of cosmic drones, but this time mostly vocal drones, while the instruments led by the sitar compete with a bacchanal. Khonsou Sokaris (8:36) is the final collective "om" with no percussion. This album stages a dizzying astral extravaganza that updates Sun Ra, who was trying to escape a possible nuclear apocalypse, to the age of multiple possible apocalypses.

The more amateurish and inconclusive 52-minute Solar Drone Ceremony (2021) was recorded live in March 2020 by Cazalet, Duerinckx, Nietzsch, Goolamy, Bermudez, Martini, Thiel and new percussionist Lucas Bouchenot and Stephane Fedele.

Set Chaos To The Heart Of The Moon (2022) and Finis Gloriae Mundi (2022) document live concerts.

(Copyright © 2023 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )