Anthroprophh, for the one or two who don’t know, are former Heads guitarist Paul Allen with Jesse Webb and Gareth Turner from Big Naturals. Last year’s offering ‘Outside the Circle’ was a masterpiece in psych/drone noise that rightly made itself at home in many ‘best of’ lists . So, what better way to start 2015 than with another monumental slice of Anthroprophh.
‘UFO’ takes as it launch point a series of UFO sightings / encounters in Britain between 1954 and 1978 and the LP certainly has an alien and more experimental feel to it.
The opener ‘14.10.54 Southend On Sea’ starts with synth drones and a muffled voice reciting NATO phonetic alphabet call signs being joined by some 1950’s sci-fi shimmers and cymbals. Eventually guitar joins the fray, sounding as though they are still being tuned up, discordant and irregular. The track fades seamlessly into ‘17.7.55 Bexleyheath’ – all motorik drums and reverb drenched guitars, slowly becoming a wall of sound . The guitars become higher, in pitch and attitude, until they sound like a toddler having a tantrum before morphing into airplanes and then radio interference. ‘13.8.56 Lakenheath’ is one of the shortest tracks on the LP and is filled with more interference and electronic squiggles and squelches. ‘4.4.57 West Freugh’ has a slow, irregular jazzy drum beat over feedback and a rumbling bassline with some eerie alien effects adding to the atmosphere. ‘19.5.65 Warminster’ starts with a drone and tinkling bells. The drone becomes darker and more urgent and is joined by drums and dissonant feedback.
‘28.4.67 Brixham’ begins with an echoey guitar picking out simple notes (imagine if the iconic note sequence from ‘Close Encounters Of The Third Kind’ was played by Hendrix ). Drums join the fun and the track becomes a psych/krautrock freak-out – wah-wahs out and the drums keeping a stately regular pace.’26.10.67 Owermoigne’ commences with an ominous drone and rising electronic signals before repetitive synth notes and motorik drums take over gradually joined by guitars growing gradually higher in mix, the track culminating in another psych/space jam over electronic effects. ‘23.1.74 Berwyn Mountain’ has more B-movie effects and a distorted vocal repeating seemingly random numbers, all dominated by a Neu!-like drumbeat. The LP closes with ‘22.9.78 Weedon BEC’ which is another kosmische/space rock jam based around some feedback drenched shredding before becoming a solid wall of noise.
Had ‘UFO’ been recorded some 20 odd years earlier it would have pride of place on Steven Stapleton’s legendary ‘Nurse With Wound List’ – a catalogue of some of the most influential, groundbreaking and thought provoking LPs released in the 60s, 70s and 80s – yes, this LP is that good!. It shows Anthroprophh in a more experimental frame of mind. The psych freak-outs are still there but more emphasis on drones, effects and sci-fi / alien imagery – all in all a thoughtful and satisfying listen. Fuckin’ A!
This review also published on www.dayzofpurpleandorange.blogspot.co.uk