Published on 6th March 2020
Karakorum – Fables & Fairytales [EP]
Well this little EP has surprised and disconcerted me, and in fairness to the band the complexity it presents deserves much more than the exploration, dissection and analysis of the contents of a quick ADA review.
Many bands are in here – Yes, Van der Graaf Generator, Wishbone Ash, Genesis, with a West Coast feel – an unpredictable content that requires many repeated listens before it really sinks in. A fairytale battle of the senses, first track Phrygian Youth contains many classic rock stylings before the weirdness of Smegmahood, very Yes with more of a contemporary jazz feel that really stretches those auditory vessels. Vocally it has some great and some truly bizarre harmonies.
The solos across every track are really fine and dandy, but expect the unexpected and you may be pleasantly surprised. Harmonica!!?
The second track contains all manner of mixed nuts, and I can see young Peter Jones of Tiger Moth Tales loving it, or even finding the band being inserted as one of Stephen Lambe’s notorious, but always enjoyable, Summer’s End curveballs. Now that I’m used to the insanity and directed directionless nature, Fairytales rounds off the three tracks with a slight return to the conventional, but still full of quirks, strangeness and not a small degree of charm. A possible contender for the mantle borne by Perfect Beings, but ultimately unique in their own right.
For intrepid explorers, this EP is worth many listens, beautifully weird, I would like to hear what they can do with a whole album. I’d love to hear other listeners’ interpretations of the lyrics (I’m assuming cloth ears on my part, or is it really quite naughty?). 23-minutes of Eastern-tinged worldly weirdliness, a headphone experience to either endure or enjoy, perhaps whilst chasing a few white rabbits. Pass me the looking glass Alice, and a little puff of whatever is in the hookah! Reminds me a little in places of the work of Eric Serra (The Fifth Element).
Three tracks with, at around 40-minutes, a running time of many albums, the broad scope of the music will delight or infuriate. I find it very good, but it took me a while getting there. It didn’t fit comfortably with whatever else I was listening to at the time, but in isolation, without interruption and conflicting choices, it has been very rewarding.
Give it a listen, I’m glad I didn’t go with the first impression.
01. Phrygian Youth (9:39)
02. Smegmahood (13:52)
– crawling mouse
– here comes the prick disease
– egg pie
– escort to the final dish
– even lactoses can be toxic
03. Fairytales (23:00)
Total Time – 46:31
Max Schörghuber – Electric Guitar, Percussion, Lotus-Flute, Vocals
Bernhard Huber – Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Percussion, Blues Harp, Vocals
Axel Hackner – Organ, Electric Pianos, Synth, Vocals
Jonas Kollenda – Bass, Double Bass, Vocals
Bastian Schuhbeck – Drums, Marimba, Vibraphone, Percussion, Vocals
Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: Germany
Date of Release: 24th May 2019