Labcoats: Acid & Alkaline
By Jacob Connor
Sub-stamped "Explorer's Club recordings", this is an atmospheric collection of free-ranging avant-garde instrumental art jazz pieces that sort of hang together in a soundtrack to a lucid, lysergic dream. It pays to relax your mind and float downstream to follow the internal logic of the Labcoats' muse. The sounds seem to be derived from the theremin and oscillators of Frankenstein's laboratory, Enrico Morriconi's spaghetti western guitar, the bugle from The Last Stand and the clicks and whirrs of the 'analytical engine' Alan Turing developed to break Nazi transmission codes. Thematically this album could almost be a cousin to the experimental excursions of Greg Malcolm, and co. Wellington veteran David Long's previous work with Six Volts is echoed here in its eclecticsm and the density of ideas packed into a finite space. The other musicians are seasoned refugees from various capital city combos. The disc also works as elastic mood music to accompany household tasks and has that quirky, humourous coffeehouse flavour rendolent of the Welly beatnik scene. Well worth a trip out of the ordinary.