Exposé Online banner

Seven That Spells — The Men from Dystopia
(Beta-lactam Ring mt207, 2007, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2009-07-01

The Men from Dystopia Cover art

Who is the King of the Endless Riff? This Croatian band makes a credible case for their royal status on this release. The five tracks here, named simply with Roman numerals, flow without much delineation from one to the next: first comes seven minutes of essentially tempo-less meandering which builds into the second track, 20 minutes of a two-bar riff topped with all manner of spaced-out trippiness (including a bit of electric sitar) building to part three, where the guitar abandons the riff and shoots off into a wah- wah-drenched solo while the bass frees the riff from the exact repetition. This part is 16-plus minutes of guitar pyromaniac indulgence with a variety of effects spelled by strange vocals and the continuation of the almighty riff. Further developments drop the drums and reduce the riff to a single pounding note overlain by indecipherable sounds apparently including a hurdy-gurdy, reintroduce the drums, devolve to a drone, reprise the riff, and so on. The whole thing is soaked in enough reverb to make Carlsbad Caverns seem positively cramped, and while I know this is a stylistic choice (practically mandatory for this kind of music) I can’t help thinking that the pummeling riffs would actually have more impact on the listener if they were more distinct. Or maybe less blurring would expose the listener more directly to the fact that these guys are jamming on one chord for more than an hour. Fans of Acid Mothers Temple and similar psychedelic noise-masters take note.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 37, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Seven That Spells, Makoto Kawabata

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Apoteosi - Apoteosi – The Mellow label, run by Mauro Moroni, has probably released more discs in the last year and a half than Musea, Kinetic, Cuneiform and Syn-phonic put together. Dedicated to re-issuing long-lost...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues