Friday, July 10, 2020
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Artist: Golden Oriole
Title: Golden Oriole
Format: 12" vinyl + Download
Label: Drid Machine
“Funky concrète” is the tagline of this mysterious release, in a supremely brief press release that only acknowledges Golden Oriole as “members of Staer + Tralten Eller Utpult” but won’t name them or even discuss the work.

And true to that description, this is a 25-minute soundclash. One half long ambient metallic drones. The other half distorted is funk instrumentals consisting of a solid real-drum rocksteady groove and a 70’s-esque bouncing bassline that’s been crushed and noised. The opening track “The Approaching Of The Disco Void” initially starts with the former, then the latter cuts in abruptly. The two halves co-exist, but to say they compliment each other would be an overstatement. Even at my most open-minded this sounds like two unrelated records being played simultaneously. Six minutes in, everything drops, switching tack to a sort of dark lo-fi blaxploitation chase music with the right ingredients but with the funk replaced with fury.

Second track “The Trilithon” is more coherent, a jazzy fusion of the same thick bass and drums with a more complementary set of electronics. Final track “The Pyrite Wink” is more off-kilter, with a less accessible groove in a changing time-signature and siren-like synth alarms on full blast. Some structure forms in the second half with steadier kicks but ultimately I’d enjoy this track more if the drone elements- which on their own I’d probably like- weren’t there.

This is grungy and difficult stuff with attitude. Somehow the combination of the garage band ethos and the sustained and confrontational avantgarde sounds doesn’t quite gel for me, but it should be praised for raw energy at least.


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