MECHANIK - Eadem Mutata Resurgo
Sometimes life can be mean. Two years ago I was contacted by Spanish space rockers Mechanik to review their debut album Velut Stella Splendida, but frankly I never got around to it. My apologies to the band! Maybe that album was just too long and jammy for me to fully get into it. The guys didn’t give up and sent me a copy of their sophomore effort Eadem Mutata Resurgo. So much persistence deserves a reward, and so I gave it this time all of my attention.
First of all, the second album is a good twenty minutes shorter than its predecessor. Usually that wouldn’t be advantageous, but the eight tracks on the album still make it to generous fifty-three minutes, which is just the right length for this kind of album. It would be wrong to tackle this work as a song based project. Mechanik admit that their music is best enjoyed as a continuous psych-out experience, and although there are still some jam session like moments, it is obvious that the quartet have composed their material more thoroughly this time.
The nine minute opener Nesmrtelnost... starts out really slowly, soon builds a searing hypnotic vibe before the lengthy guitar melody recalls a young Robert Fripp. The overall sound is quite retro, with kraut rock (the repetitive nature Neu!) and space rock (the wobbly qualities and tight bass rhythms of Hawkwind) being the main ingredients, although there are also elements of progressive and post rock throughout the album. On the opener the rhythm section is maintaining a bit, with the guitar extensively soloing and the electronics adding this very trippy space rock component. This segues seamlessly into ...A Vechnost, which is basically a continuation of what preceded, with an even denser sound and some creepy vocoder vocals. The middle part of the record is especially neat. To Tzeitel is the most accessible track on Eadem Mutata Resurgo. Being the only song with regular vocals, it stands out with great melody lines and a hazy quality that reminds me of early Amon Düül II. Excellent stuff! The following Ein heller Stern is the longest track on the album, at nearly ten minutes using all of its time to build up suspense and tension. Very quiet at first, with pondering electronic effects announcing themselves in the background, it gradually builds up momentum to become one of those exquisite space rock anthems that Mechanic so excel in. Howl is a soundtrack to the eponymous poem by Beat Generation writer Allen Ginsberg and reminds us of the power of the spoken word.
The final three tracks (Particulas Subatomicas en el Jet de un Agujero Negro, Éclairs de vie après la dernier souffle, Sgt. Shamar Thomas) are something like a quarter hour suite, with the first part being quite experimental, the second and longest one building up to a post rock crescendo before the final instalment sees off the audience with a melancholic and melodic piece, leaving us with the knowledge that Mechanik have really improved a lot over the last two years.
And while Eadem Mutata Resurgo will not reinvent space rock, it is one of the most successful albums in reconciling the freedom of jamming with the discipline of songwriting. My expectation were surpassed by far, and I can only recommend at the strongest this epic piece of freak-out music to every follower of space, kraut and psychedelic prog rock music.