If an album’s sound is the result of a group of musicians throwing their inspirations into a pot to see what emerges, then it’s no wonder that Hypnodrone Ensemble‘s new album is about as experimental as it gets, brimming with space rock synths and drones that enlarge and expand, gradually engulfing the listener. Gets Polyamorous is true to its name, being a record in which project leaders Aidan Baker (Nadja, Noplace Trio) and Eric Quach (Thisquietarmy) are joined by an impressive roster of thirteen other musicians.
Though recording separately due to Covid, the collective has crafted an album that flows seamlessly as one 50-minute piece of music. It’s a testament to the enduring power of the album as a music format – whilst this LP could almost operate as a single track, it’s also remarkably dynamic, seamlessly shifting from relatively mild and soothing soundscapes into mind-melting psychedelia. Hypnodrone Ensemble know how to build a song up and they know when to let it fade away for a moment, and the collective’s songwriting prowess is on show in this manner from start to finish. It’s this that makes it such a powerful listening experience.
“Gets Polyamorous began with the idea of wanting the different musicians with whom we have played live, at various concerts and festivals in cities around Europe, to contribute to a Hypnodrone Ensemble album,” says Aidan Baker. “As a starting point, we recorded and shared a number of simple guitar riffs and drone loops online and invited musicians to contribute parts, slowly building up layers and constructing the songs as contributions came in. As all previous Hypnodrone Ensemble albums resulted from live in-studio session recordings, this was a much different process in recording and songwriting for us, resulting in a different sounding and differently structured album, whilst still working within the realms of our habitual space rock and krautrock sounds. For the cover art, we wanted to have everyone who played on the album represented as well, but of course we were not able to take a group photo. So, much like the album itself, we collaged together a photo of us all together in some summery garden suggestive of Father Yod And The Source Family Band; communal living, experimental psych rock, and (at least) musical polyamory.”
It’s a release that deserves your attention when it drops this coming Friday, but thankfully you don’t have to wait till then to hear the record, as it’s streaming right here ahead of release.
Wolves And Vibrancy Records on Friday, 23rd October. Order here.
Words: George Parr