When Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath sang about being a “slave to the radio” her satirical track clocking in at three minutes thirty seconds (“three point three oh”) at least pandered to dance music’s tropes where, at its core with parodies aside, it was just another great pop tune. Trash Kit’s third album – their first in half a decade – looks like a normal album, too. Ten tracks range from two to four minutes long, and an eleventh is an open-wounded centerpiece at 7:16.
The many worlds of the band’s two Rachels – Aggs (vocals, guitar) and Horwood (vocals, drums) – alongside bassist Gill Partington, cross over to form the hearts of some forward-thinking projects in Bas Jan, Bamboo, Shopping, Rozi Plain and Sacred Paws, each of whom have undertaken their own sonic safaris of late. Horizon’s is primarily concerned with guitar music from Zimbabwe.
‘Coasting’ starts with Mbira rhythms melding into a full drum kit. It sounds like the Brazilian Batucada on slow-motion psychedelics. A makeshift gospel choir underscores ‘Sunset’, when joyful cyclical motifs collide with expeditious sing-speak vocals from Electrelane-era Aggs, in an altogether more forceful dialogue of marginalised rhythms from two very different worlds.
Through the course of the album, melodies that could have been dreamt up on a West African thumb piano weave into Trash Kit’s expansive soundscapes and duly stop at three minutes. It’s the seven-minute ‘Disco’ where the album comes alive though: tooting mantras in the vast expanse; lamellophone beats build with a wonky saxophone; a cool guitar lick, restrained at first, billows into an explosion. It’s teasing just how good this album could be.
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