Afghan Sand Gang
Machine Music EP
Mossley’s Afghan Sand Gang release their debut EP Machine Music, Nigel Carr reviews for Louder Than War.
When I hear the words Machine Music I’m instantly reminded of Lou Reed’s ill-advised contractual obligation album, Metal Machine Music. A tuneless electronic cacophony that required a full party 7 and a couple of fat spliffs to get through. Fast forward forty odd years and Afghan Sand Gand deliver what must be considered one of the debuts of the year.
The band, from Mossley, home to Cabbage and Proletariat comprises Paddy Neville (Guitars, Vox), Matthew Burgess (Synth/Vox), Will Owen (Bass) and owes little to the aforementioned Velvet front-man. What we do get is a rich mesh of Suicide influenced electronica enriched by 60’s TV thematics, late’s 60’s freak-out Floyd through 90s shoegaze, tasty beats and Krautrock, delivered through an immersive melodic soundscape.
Scribe twists through a Sourcerful Of Secrets style opening before oscillating wildly into a clattering, deep-groove electronic anthem topped with dreamy vocals. It morphs into Mantra which takes us further with the deepest of bass-lines careering majestically into Mogwai territory. Think Wizard Motor meets the XX; by far my favourite track on the EP.
You’re never quite sure where these tracks are going to take you, Toxic Foreplay gently lulls you in before one of the biggest 80s style electro beats just slams you in the face while Descension wobbles immediately into view.
It’s easy to draw comparisons with other bands but this would be doing Machine Music an injustice. What you get is ultra-modern electronica steeped in big beat and beautifully tripped out psyche with a pop twist. Take a listen to Mantra below and make your own mind up!