Clean Feed

When an engine is in good operating order, it can be disassembled for a very long time before being put back together and starting to roar. So it makes sense that throughout a 13-year span, Gorilla Mask only released a handful of records – four, to be exact. In actuality, the most important thing is to be informed of what to anticipate when confronted with them. By demonstrating the abilities of Peter Van Huffel, Roland Fidezius and Rudi Fischerlehner at the perfect fusion of experimental intent, elastic groove and, every so often, healthy badassery, Mind Raid unquestionably lives up to expectations.

Outstanding musicians are rarely ready to perform without drawing attention to their talent. On the contrary, the trio’s vision of clever democracy actually remains as a significant sensation at the end of this encounter, after seven tracks enjoyed through multiple listening sessions. Intentionally keen on following more collectively oriented guidelines, the artists furnished us with a narrative arc formed of partially pre-developed segments that, at the same moment, highlights improvisational spurts as perfectly delineated as in a panoramic image of a landscape in which the elements are still readily identifiable.

By using electronics ingeniously to widen the timbral palette, the trio avoided having the inherent emotive impulses behind selected episodes be immediately understood (see “Demon Durge”). However, as Van Huffel’s sax keeps yelling and painting lines full of intensity, Fidezius’ bass often throbs like a young child’s heart prior to meeting a cherished girl, whereas Fischerlehner’s drums maintain everything unified and consistent while also disconnecting the links to normality. The feeling of nearly autistic concentration on some theme sketches and uncomfortable riffs is the cherry on top of an album that undoubtedly provides a wealth of sharp observations.

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