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Album: Pepe Deluxé - Comix Sonix | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Pepe Deluxé - Comix Sonix

Album: Pepe Deluxé - Comix Sonix

Psychedelic electronica that doesn’t play by anyone’s rules

Comix Sonix: soulful and enchanting strangeness

Pepe Deluxé are no exemplars of the puritan work ethic. Comix Sonix is only their sixth album in almost 30 years – but while they aren’t concerned with quantity, they certainly know how to produce electronic psychedelic weirdery of seriously high quality.

After coming together in the Nineties club scene and initially blending electronica with hip-hop, breakbeats and trip-hop, they soon jumped ship from anything that might even tangentially be described as “commercial” to inhabit far more experimental and eccentric genre-spanning territory. A place where they still find themselves.

Comix Sonix is no dull and obtuse piece of work that finds itself staring up its own backside though, even if it does feature such improbable instruments as an American Airlines 747 flying coach lounge Wurlitzer, a 40,000 BCE mammoth bone flute and a 19th century lithophone. Far from it. You can even dance to more than a few tunes here – but maybe not to the one minute and 20 second long and extremely odd “Emotionally Available Diabolical Parenthood”.

Hip-swingers, such as the excellent and funky “Freedom Flag”, which features some fine scratching from DJ Slow, and the summery and Northern Soul-like “Everybody Is” are certainly more than enough to tempt even the most timid onto the dancefloor. However, there is also plenty of strange off-kilter listening, such as “Wise Monkeys and the Devil”, which jumps tempos, if not dimensions, multiple times, and the head-spinningly freaky “Earth Boys Are Easy”. There’s even a trip into groovy but silly Sixties hippy pop with “Saddle That Wind”.

With Comix Sonix, the enigmatic Paul Malmström and James Spectrum have come up with a wild musical blend of Victorian poetry, global politics, sacred beliefs and utter nonsense that is unlikely to challenge the commercial juggernaut that is Taylor Swift in the charts, but it is to be hoped that it still finds a niche with its soulful and enchanting strangeness.

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Electronic psychedelic weirdery of seriously high quality

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