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Goat - Requiem

Goat - Requiem

What sound does Goat make? What does it look like? When talking about the Swedish band Goat that is, it is hard to say. It is certainly psychedelic but when Brightonsfinest did an interview with the band they said, “Psychedelia is music that is free” of any barriers, meaning it could be anything. No one knows what they look like either, or whether they are the same band from one moment to the next – mainly due to the band being dressed head-to-toe in tribal wear with their identity always hidden. The band's genre of highly rhythmic and trance-like music has been played for generations by the Korpilombolo villagers, where the name derives from in Sweden, “Goat as a musical tradition is old, and we are just a recent example of the project…. , there have been recordings of Goat for the last 30 or 40 years”. They say, “part of the tradition is to be very open-minded to music from all parts of the world. People who have played music in our village have always brought in different forms of music”, hence why their first album was called World Music which also best describes the musical mystic of Goat.

It is safe to say that when Goat released their debut album, minds were blown – the cosmic nature of the enthralling 2012 release came out of nowhere and quickly made them one of the most interesting bands out there. And then you add their truly incredible live show into the equation that not only showcases the exemplary musicianship the band have, but also the intoxicating mentality of their performances where endless jams and ritual dancing not only add a new life to their songs but takes you to their gratifying world – Goat stand pretty uniquely in this musical world.

The album's influences run far and wide – the opening track from Requiem, ‘Union of Mind and Soul’, takes note from the 1960s legendary Brazilian psychedelic rock group Os Mutantes. After calming tropical bird song and the unison singing by the two female lead vocalists starts proceedings, a dual recorder hook acts as a chorus that separates the anarchistic style of vocals that could have fitted nicely in the Tropicália movement. An untypically calm track follows in the form of ‘I Sing In Silence’. Though the two female lead vocals are sung in an unhinged manner, the rest of the track takes the shape of North African desert guitar melody that easily whisks you away for a hedonistic four-and-a-half-minutes. Influences don’t stand still for long with ‘Alarms’ holding the stance of an early 70s French avant-garde pop/rock track and the danceable gangly guitars in ‘Trouble In The Streets’ reminiscent of West African highlife music.

Jamming and finding songs “in the moment” is a big part of how Goat make their music but it does leave the door open for songs being a little tiresome. Tracks such as ‘Temple Rhythms’, ‘Goatband’ and ‘Goatfuzz’ fall into this and at times sound incomplete, almost as if they were the best recordings of a bunch of seven minute plus jams. However, this can bring out the absolute best in Goat; with the chilled groovieness of ‘Psychedelic Lover’, the feel-good invocation of ‘It’s Not Me’ and the hypnotic Moroccan flair in ‘Goodbye’ being amongst some of the best tracks the band have made. Final track, ‘Ubuntu’, leaves the listener in a bit of a quandary. The song is mostly field recordings, something Goat have never done to date, where you can hear wind, waves and a ticking clock as well as voice recordings of people talking about our human existence. The oddest has to be the short clip of ‘Diarabi’ toward the end of the song's duration which is then followed by nothing other than sparse thundering waves till its close – with the album being called Requiem, could this signify the end of Goat?

Iain Lauder

Check out our recent Spotlight Interview with Goat.


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