elephant house

Many thanks to the folk over at Adaadat records for sending over yer actual vinyl record with press release – very old school and very much welcome, miss the days of getting full on vinyl albums to review, swiftly on I think. The brief sheet reads thus ‘inspired by traditional Mongolian coaxing rituals used to encourage female camels into accepting new-born calves’. As bizarre this might sound and I’m fairly assured in the belief that such descriptions aren’t the usual press release fodder, then I’m gathering that you’re secretly wanting to know more. Well let’s just say that those pinning their colours to the Goat post might want to rethink matters for duo Elephant House have in ‘Pony Ride’ via a split outing for both the Adaadat imprint and the Beijing label Drum Rider, dropped a most alluring and shrooming debut head trip.

Playful, mesmeric and tutored in a seductive kosmich vintage, ‘pony ride’ is an album of two sides – obviously, yet what I mean to say is that the dominant lead of Side 1 is given over to a more psych persona while its partnering second side is awash in trip wiring ambient dissipates, in truth an album that reveals a little more of itself with each passing play and several sittings are what you’ll need if only to satisfy yourself that you’ve navigated your way through its intricately layered cornucopia of sound. Wrapped in Eastern delights, opening cut ‘Camel mom’ is a tripping colossus, hypno-grooved    ceremonial spell charms and snake winding motifs coalesce to fuse an almost spiritual desert dry mosaic, its sultry crafting much reminiscent of John 3:16 had he been bunking up with those Cult of Dom Kellar dudes, add in to the potent brew oodles of Arabesque swirls and a generous dollop of swarthy mystical headiness and what you have is an intoxicating fusion whereupon the sounds thicken, getting ever denser to draw you in spellbound. Sprayed in oriental enchantment, the sepia toned bowed rustics of ‘desert hole’ gather to form a clock working orbital, here the gloopy metronomic toning of Cavern of Anti Matter, the sounds of ghostly lunar promenades peppered with regal posies that recall Add N to X’s ‘the regent is dead’ being retuned by Magnetaphone. A brief reprise as ‘ok’ shimmers seductively by before the onset of ‘dead sand’ which trimmed upon a demurring frost flecked key refrain, the lightly toned frail fortdax like mosaic soon begins to fragment and fracture, in their place some classically toned Goblin-esque vibes come to pass.  

Over on the flip, the side opens to the gorgeously dream drifting oceanic cosmic flotilla that is ‘pearl’, mottled in mind morphing murmurs there’s a serene church like grace pirouetting from its star hugging lulling choral trimmings corralled by arcing symphonia, quite a blissful listening experience it should be said. In quick pursuit arrives ‘shuidiao getou’ a beautified dainty dream popper haloed and sumptuously speckled in a hazy sepia tweaked vintage whose longing radiance comes drawn from a cover of a traditional Chinese folk melody arranged around the Ci poem ‘prelude to the water melody’ by Su Shi that’s honed to a pristine pop symmetry not unlike that of Tashaki Miyaki. Leading matters out towards the end groove is the third eye tweaking title track ‘pony ride’ – quite frankly needs to be heard to be believed, a lushly equipped vapour kissed slice of seductive lunar lounge loveliness that craftily veers into the kind of shadow lined chill traced 60’s realms occupied by Broadcast and the Warm Digits. An essential ear candy happening by our reckoning.  http://www.adaadat.co.uk/

Elephant House

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