If I'd been a member of Monkey Steak, I would've been shitting myself at that point - I mean, how do you follow that?! But with their usual easy-going nonchalance, Atki 2 and Hanuman wasted no time in taking us a whole other strange trip. I try to catch these two in action at least every six months, and each time you can be sure the set will be almost completely unrecognisable from the last time, not just the tracks, but changes in overall emphasis too. This was easily the most wide-ranging, far-reaching set I've witnessed to date. Hanuman's interest in ethnic & world music is increasingly coming to the fore, but they're also mounting a full-on 2-Step revival, filled with lashings of euphoric synth, breathy ghost-whispers of female chanteuses and blurred, oscillating trumpet-loops that put me in mind of Terry Riley's "Poppy Nogood". They're taking vocal aceppalas from Flow Dan and Joanna Newsom and forcing them to co-exist in a new mutually compatible environment, and they're skanking out with Junior Mervin in a righteous dubzone. Like Bass Clef, it's about serious music, but also about having a wild party, with a big grin on it's face. Monkey Steak were always on their own circular orbit, but now it's like they're constructing their own galaxy, built on a sublow foundation, where anything and everything can happen. Surely 2007 is the year they get to make an album...? (gig review by Gutterbreakz)
Monkey Steak "Electric Birdland" EP is out now on Death$ucker Records.