Released: 2013, Important Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Critically dubbed 'global post-colonialcore', enigmatic ensemble Master Musicians of Bukkake return with a wallop after their three-piece magnum opus 'Totem'. The group, whose faces still remain as mysterious as their sound, aim to translate quests for spiritual wisdom into melodies - with a spoonful of titles in dodgy dialects along the way.
From its chaotic and anarchic opening to its tranquil and serene closure, 'Far West' is an expansive and mosaic listen. Through the pedal-note bass foundations and acoustic sustain chords, not to mention the ethereal choirs and shamanistic male and female vocals, the terrestrial is threaded with the celestial, the ritualistic with the pantheistic. Its pace, changing moods and rhythmic textures document its cyclical journey throughout, as the stomping beats of 'γη-νομος / GNOMI' and 'ARCHE' mesh with the breezy mellotron and sci-fi analog synths of 'CIRCULAR RUINS', in a sonic storyboard in which the geographical far west morphs back into near east once more.
Does the record cross the line in favour of a hypnotic, transcendental mantra, or unimaginative New-Age bore that fails to ignite after MMB's trilogy masterwork? The good news is that its layers, exoticism and delicate craftsmanship cement it firmly in the sector of the former. Admittedly, for all its subtlety, the tone of some of the wind-instrument sounds during the middle tracks do evoke the odd shop stuffed with dreamcatchers and wax candles made of unicorn tears. Yet the record never lingers on one aural concept for too long, and even when exploring territories in the opposite direction of its musical predacessor, it manages to blend Asian, Oriental and European influences under one heady and technically competent roof.
The elusive bunch who nicked their moniker from the Berber Sufi trance band linked with the Rolling Stones have once again cemented a strong and intelligent hybrid. Fusing psychedelia, prog, folk and even big-band, it's brave, confusing and creative as hell. If you've ever been tempted by the deep, cultish ways of the unknown, this is a soundtrack you need to invest in.
Review by Rhiannon Marley