Bablicon – A Flat Inside A Fog, The Cat That Was A Dog

5 out of 5

Label: Misra

Produced by: Blue Hawaii, Dave Pavkovic, Derek Almstead (mastered by)

I doubt ill have the words or references to properly celebrate Bablicon’s A Flat Inside A Fog, as I’m almost positive the album is over my head.  It’s am experience swirling with, primarily, jazz influences, but it steps ever-briefly into plenty of other realms, including soundtrack-esque grandiosity, post-rock, krautrock, and even spazzy Truman’s Water-like freakouts here and there.  As a group known for instrument switch-ups and their improvised sets, Fog / Dog being an album over an hour long, you could suspect that the listening experience would have its fair share of snoozes, or at least moments that certain listeners might proclaim as genius but standard ears just hear as a standard beat, however – and I’m always resurprised by this when I revisit the disc – not a track lags.  They certainly go off map, but the layered and catchy rhythms are never too far behind any given experiment, making the listening experience a perfectly paced set of ebbs and flows.  Maybe the repetitive clatter of Snipanet T isn’t to your tastes, or you have a low tolerance for the ambient noise that opens Saumur / Paris / Teatowels, but if you’ve found yourself wooed by opening tracks Blue Hawaii and Traveling – both wonderfully dense, laid back and progressive at the same time – then its worth hanging around past the less grabbing moments, as I promise there’s something rewarding around the corner.  And by album’s end the big picture makes even more sense, as I’m not sure a full album of any given track’s style wouldn’t feel like a stretch, but as part of this sequence of stitched together explorations, it works (heh) seamlessly.

If you’re a judgmental bastard like me, you might’ve skipped over Bablicon due to their Elephant 6 ties, but they’re one of those exceptions which sound nothing like the majority output from that collective.

An amazing set of jazz-touched tracks, that capture the improvisational spirit and melody of that genre and combines it with a punky sense of looseness and abandon.