Instant Drone Factory – Ho Avuto Paura Del Mare

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Review by Jason Guest

Get a bunch of folks together, give a couple of them planks with wires hanging off ‘em and then plug ‘em in to a box that makes them painfully, even deafeningly loud; give another one of them a couple of sticks so that he or she can bash the crap out of a couple of boxes and oversized metal plates balanced on poles; sit another one behind a row of black and white pads that trigger all kinds of tones and timbres from an electronic box; and then tell one of them – usually the most self-absorbed – that he or she is the centre of attention and can say what they want and how they want, whether it be wailing, screaming, scowling, shrieking, speaking, or – worse – “singing”. As long as the racket that drips, trips, or skips out of their combined thrashing follows some sort of pattern, sounds like it’s “in tune”, and is palatable by somebody – anybody – it can be called music. So here we are in the early part of the second decade of the 21st century, lumbered with an innumerable amount of “musicians” from countless genres and subgenres all desperate to find their way through the rules based around an arbitrary twelve note scale in order to stand out as innovative, inspired, or inspirational. Wonderful isn’t it, this stuff we’ve come to call “music”?

I think Instant Drone Factory must’ve missed the last few meetings, the ones where they discussed structure, genre, key, and all that stuff where a band, y’know, actually formulates a plan around what they’re gonna do with such an abundance of possibilities at their fingertips. Why? Well, what Instant Drone Factory do is throw caution to the wind, arrange for a bunch of musicians from all over the world to get together in one place – either a studio to record or on a stage in front of even more people – without any discussion of what they are to perform and, well, go for it. Yes, you read correctly. There’s no discussion of what key they’ll be playing in, or what style, or what genre, and definitely no rehearsal. The point? A “public “talk show” using musical instruments that gives all band members space for their emotions and musical statements, their musical education and cultural background.” And so Ho Avuto Paura Del Mare (which translates as “I’ve been afraid of the Sea”) is the outcome of one of these (dis)organised recordings. Yep, the nutters are running the asylum. Psychedlia meets space rock meets Krautrock meets Noise meets whatever-the-hell-else-emerges in these five tracks of lysergic-laced lunacy. Random piano notes cascade down upon sporadic, tumbling drums as a kaleidoscope of patterns unfurl in the dynamic interplay of a multi-limbed music monster; a child-like optimism pervades the tracks whilst a dark and sinister feel underpins the grooves that emerge out of the cacophonous calamity; sharply-struck guitar chords clash with driving drums; and ceremonial, Dyonisian vocals cast their simultaneously innocent and menacing shadow over the prevailing lunacy. Pulsating rhythms emerge from the orgiastic fervour, perpetually threatening to spiral out of control and break on through to the other side until the closing track, the blissful ‘Do You Love What You See’ that, whether purposely or otherwise, rounds out the album with a lucid calm as if being upon a spiritual journey and delivered to the moment of epiphany.

With every avenue of the sonic landscape being perpetually plundered, you’d be forgiven for thinking that every part and every port of music’s unfathomable lands had been plundered for all it’s worth. But because the rules don’t apply to Instant Drone Factory, they let music, emotion, and inspiration be their communal guide and improvisation be their gateway to the new and unexplored. It may well be just a series of fortunate mistakes, but I s’pose they’d blame it on the alignment of the planets or some other cosmic bollocks. Where Ho Avuto Paura Del Mare represents a slice of time which, had it not been recorded, would otherwise be lost, the real significance is that live, Instant Drone Factory’s performances will be no-one else’s except the band’s and the audience in attendance. But if we all followed the rules, it’d be pretty dull around these parts, methinks. Praise be for Instant Drone Factory. For those that like their music to play by the rules – i.e., definite structures, identifiable genres, verses and sing-a-long choruses, etc. – leave this alone; you just won’t enjoy or endure it. But if you’ve ever questioned what music is, should be, or is capable of, Instant Drone Factory’s doors are wide open and they are accepting guests. Wonderful isn’t it, this music stuff?

7 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Ain’t Nobody
  2. Put Down The Guns
  3. Out Of The Chaos
  4. Ghost Rider
  5. Do You Love What You See

3 COMMENTS

  1. Nice review. Thanks so much for introducing me to this band, I think these five songs are absolutely superb! I think your review reads more as though it should be 8/10 – any particular reason why it was a 7? Just curious…

    • Cheers Will. Glad you like ’em. I gave it a 7 because I think it’s a little self-indulgent in some areas (even though self-indulgence is a central idea) and the novelty of improv wears thin here and there. I’d love to see these guys live!
      If you like this, check out Magma, Gong, and Acid Mothers Temple (to begin with).

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