Jung People - Galápagos EP [Album Review]
The beautiful sepia toned picture of the sea draws you in. The picture effectively splits in two between sky and Earth symbolically drawing reference to the duo behind the music you're about to hear.
Based in Calgary, AB the duo known as Jung People classify themselves as an Experimental/Progressive Rock /Indie band. The sounds certainly remind the listener of early 1970's bands like King Crimson, Genesis, and Yes. Those categories and influences fit the band appropriately, but do not tell the entire story.
The duo is composed of Giordano W. Bassi on Drums and Gong and Octobuss (aka Bryan Buss) on 8 String guitar, Synthesizer and effects. Bassi and Buss have spent their time honing their craft in other Rock bands on the Calgary scene like: Octillian and Kobra and the Lotus. The Heavy Metal and Hard Rock songs of those bands influence this new project, but elements from Bassi's solo project Telegram Falls Silent! Stop adds Electronica and Ambient sounds to the mix. Likely, Bassi is the artistic vision behind the cover art as evidenced by his video for his solo project seen here.
The band released their Galápagos EP back on October 2, 2010. Clocking in a little over 20 minutes the EP packs three instrumentals together into a tight, cohesive package.
The EP opens with "Paws", the shortest track included. After getting started with a pounding drum beat from Bassi, the music takes on a sort of jazz form with a theme, followed by soloing and secondary themes and eventually returning to the original theme. Octobuss moves his instrument between clean and distorted sounds to create a well crafted instrumental worthy as an introduction to the band's overall sound scape.
Sequenced in the middle, "This Is Indian Land," comes closest to the Heavy Metal and Hard Rock the other bands play in large supply. For the EP as a whole this sound is only part of the picture, but still becomes my least favorite track of the EP.
The most explosive and memorable song is the title track, "Galápagos." Seemingly split into two movements over eight and a half minutes, the song morphs from dreamy, ambient rock into something fierce by song's end. The first half begins with some sound bites from a movie or even a documentary or science film of a man being interviewed presumably about the islands that share the same name as the EP famously visited by Charles Darwin aboard the HMS Beagle, but maybe not and that's the fun of the mystery. Intricate guitar work from Octobuss and a decisively non-western drum beat follows the dialogue into a trippy atmospheric of sound and color. Bassi uses all the bells at his disposal, literally, to create a unique drum technique that would make Bill Bruford proud.
However, the second half seems fit for a movie backing a not yet developed chase scene or action sequence. The clean, intricate guitar picking gives way to a dirtier guitar sound with chords and a pounding, up-tempo hard rock beat that conjures those images behind the wheel of a muscle car. Believe me, I'm trying to come up with such a scene just so I can use this track!
Jung People will release their full length debut Too Late To Die this weekend. The album will be available for download Saturday, January 15. If you're anywhere near Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the band is also playing a show tomorrow, January 15 at The New Black Centre, 919 9 Ave SE.