ALUK TODOLO — Aluk Todolo (review)

ALUK TODOLO — Aluk Todolo album cover EP · 2006 · Non-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
The debut release by ALUK TODOLO came out a year before the first full-length album in the form of this eponymous EP that contains only two tracks simply named “Side A” and “Side B.” This one was only released on 7” vinyl and debuts this French experimental band’s fascination with incorporating magical theories with traditional rock instrumentation to create new forms of consciousness and meditative states. Although they don’t incorporate black metal into the mix quite yet, they are often associated with black metal because of members involvement in Diametregon and Vediog Savior.

“Side A” begins with a repetitive bass ostinato with cymbal action and drumbeats accompanying. The guitar takes on a post-rock type of role as it dances around the groove and creates hypnotic riffs. The track picks up steam gradually and ratchets up the tension while the cymbals and drumbeats become more powerful. In the middle there’s a slow down but picks up the tempo again as the guitar becomes more frenzied and murky in the mix. It ends with some spoken dialogue by Aleister Crowley.

“Side B” is a lot more energetic than the “A” as the drums take a prominent role in fast and furious rolls while the bass while still repetitive has a more complex ostinato riff that has a touch more melody to it. The guitar floats in screechy sustained distortion mode but also has the role of extending the sound structure to include a dissonant riff while background ambience bleeds in to create a sinister sounding backdrop which is more poignant when the instruments drop out for a while and only its spooky howling is heard. The band jumps back into the groove and the guitar adds more antics and effects and i also detect a slight surf rock type of guitar riff popping in towards the end.

Not a bad start for ALUK TODOLO as this would establish their hypo-groovy mix of no wave and Krautrock. The no wave aspect is more in play at this stage with jangly dissonant guitars reminding me of early Swans but the mesmerizing repetition certainly brings Kraut classics by Neu to mind as well. This one doesn’t sound much different than the first full-length album but isn’t quite as dark and spooky as the following releases become.
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