Review: Kogumaza – S/T

Kogumaza is real “desert mirage” music – the soundtrack to trudging across endless sandy plains under an unrelenting sun, wearily succumbing to the hallucinations that form as shimmering washes of colour on the horizon. Sludgy guitars provide the propulsion, swirling in psychedelic loops and gradually mutating into different tonal shapes, while drums thump from beneath in simple, pounding rhythm cycles.

Repetition and monotony are ever-present but never overused: Kogumaza are just as capable of breaking out of jams as they are slipping into them, putting ideas to bed long before accusations of over-indulgence can arise. This is mesmeric listening, but not in a patronizing fashion – the band never resort to a lazy copy-paste stasis, catching an expert balance between progression and thematic recurrence.

The album production is absolutely spot on. Kogumaza’s music arrives as a murky cloud of humidity, with the dazzling multi-colour of guitar FX bent and contorted through the distortion haze. The band have clearly given thought to the music’s practicality in the live environment, and the fact that such a heavy, saturated sound can be conjured from such minimal elements is most impressive. Moderation is the key here. Just as Kogumaza never let their ideas become trapped in endless repetition, the eventual album “climax” isn’t an all-out explosion at such – it’s more a natural continuation of the momentum built up over the album’s forty minute duration, the magnitude of which only becomes evident once the record comes to a close.