Best archival album of Q1 2021

Rascal Reporters – Redux vol 2: Rascals Revenge and The Great Reset

Although this album is based on recordings from the 1970s, and some of those even have been published previously, this is not a simple reissue although it is based on archival material.

In fact this is so great that I would like to invent a new genre for it: how about post-archival?

Just like the Rascal Reporters ‘Redux vol 1’ release from 2019 ,the addition in particular of drums turns these tracks into something completely different. Just like on that volume, the drummer is James Strain and his drumming is as maximalist as everything else here. Memorising the near infinite twists and turns here is a herculean task, but he does it with apparent lightness and not the slightest sign of strain.

Although this album is being compared to Egg and other Canterbury bands on the Bandcamp site, there is also mention that it turns into something else entirely. I think that is an ample characterisation; it combines friendly melodies and soft keyboards with aggressive complexity into a Canterbury-like sound, but then goes off into more tangents than you can shake a trigonometric function at. 

This music is so insane that you can only conclude it is genial. Rather than progressive rock, I would call this permissive rock, given that the artists have given themselves permission to break any rule you could imagine.

Dario D’Alessandro from Homunculus Res has provided the cover art as well as some additional synths on the wonderful ‘Egg Soup’ (a snippet of which featured on his second Homunculus Res album), and Bob Drake has done the mastering, so you know you are in good company when listening.

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