[sic] Magazine

Million Brazilians – Urban Fossickated Octave

A turn of phrase unique to the Grant Corum multiverse on first inspection, Million Brazilians’ latest album in fact takes its title from the work of trippy artist Paul Laffoley and, just as his pieces open portals to other mental dimensions, so too does Urban Fossickated Octave the LP. Over forty minutes of disorientating experimentation, he and fellow founder Suzanne Stone are intermittently joined by the looping talents of Caleb Mulkerin, Tom Kovacevic’s disembodied piano keys and Bob New’s suspenseful synths, but these players remain a walk-on cast compared to Corum’s tin whistles and Stone’s full-frontal alta sax, which together dominate the 20-minute, 3-part suite that opens the record.

A miasma of blown pipes, drifting drone and pulsing synths, it’s a desolate, lonely experience akin to circumnavigating some jazzy lounge band in an irradiated hotel bar on the outer rings, its crepuscular cadences several million parsecs away from the Cantina band you may be picturing. A menacing hum and shuffling FX lend its second movement a creepy atmosphere, the drawn-out synths scoring the chatter of some intergalactic craft’s computerised HVAC system, the haunting ambience of the tripartite closer twinned with the distant revving of some anachronistic engine.

Though still missing the humanity of other records’ stifling explorations of the tropics, some middle Eastern souk perhaps or the far-flung mists of the Orient, the dynamic oscillations of “Body Training 1” do somehow seem more organic, a coursing of warm blood through alien wastelands, Corum’s echoing vocal fragments and uplifting sax motifs bouncing around vaulted chambers as if to confirm you’re not alone on this voyage during part two. Under hypnosis, a digitally manipulated receiver then relays talk of UFOs and bringing back lost souls after they’ve crossed the divide, Stone fluttering an operatic murmur across the wheezy solar wind to close. A workout for the imagination and the intellect, Corum and Stone paint with broad strokes, a dream-world writ large and unapologetically across a twinkling twilight sky.

~Urban Fossickated Octave is out now via Feeding Tube.~