Cave: Psychic Summer
There’s a lot of Kraut influenced combos about at the moment – every man and his musical dog seem to be referencing Can, La Düsseldorf and the like. I read recently that Julian Cope would do unsavoury things to himself and others around him if he heard another sixth-form band trying to sound like Neu! or Cluster. To try and call it a new scene is a shit endeavour that only (wannabe) music journalists would attempt.
As with all these things there are those that cite Kraut because it seems to be the right thing to do (that would be Kasabian then) and there are others who creatively engage with their forbearers. It will come as no surprise that I believe Cave fall into the latter category.
Cave’s inventive commitment to all things Kraut varies from being implicit to explicit. With some skill they manage to sound both contemporary and historically accurate. In so doing, this becomes an album that slowly and subtlety works its way into your ear-ways and awareness, and onto your listening devices. Again and again, at a loss as to what to listen to, I’ve ended up with Psychic Summer and felt all the better for it.
‘Gamm’ opens up with a subtle yet infectious riff layered with synth sweeps, then takes off into something much more wigged-out, before settling into a driving bass that makes the head nod and generates a desire to get mobile. Second tune, ‘Made in Malaysia’ introduces a math element to the mix and some wonderfully bizarre and indecipherable chanting. Elsewhere, ‘Requiem for John Sex’ keeps the sense of pace and itinerancy, and introduces some shredded guitars and feedback for our pleasure.
So, are Cave part of what we might want to call a nu-Kraut movement? Oh ferchristsake and arse…
Buy it here and listen without attempting to be a sub-Pitchfork hack.