Alternative music reviews

Karma Pilot

A New Career Aug 2006
Karma Pilot: A New Career

How can I describe Karma Pilot? There are elements of electronica with the beatbox rhythms and synth twiddling. But there's much more as well such as a penchant for the occasional use of Beatles-like melody structures (the bits I don't like!) and a elements from the earlier age of Psychedelia. I think the music would sit well alongside Tangerine Dream/Popol Vuh but it has a broader sweep than that.

Summer 1999 is a ten minute track that is a gentle evocation of memory, of atmospheres. Of course us listeners can't really know what it means to Daniel Vincent, but we can perhaps recall that summer. It was the eclipse that year and I experienced it while driving through a forest in Ireland. The skies went dark and I'm convinced that a little egg decided to take hold in a womb that day. I think such thoughts illustrate the fact that Karma Pilot are evocative. Summer 1999 is the lapping of an ocean on the seashore your dreams.

The Last Place On Earth is a Psychedelic guitar fest using strummed acoustic and a spaced out electric lead and a constant rhythmic drive. Better Than This sounds to me like an Onion Jack track and it would rank alongside their best with some wonky synth (Like a Mellotron with stretched tapes). The underlying feeling of uncertainty and menace and the lyrical attempts to cajole a life better lived make this a beautifully unsettling song.

There is humour and reality in the song subjects. This is not esoteric material - after all, most of us still have to go to work. But it is an attempt to add something to real life, a different soundtrack to hold in your head.


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