GAF Y La Estrella De La Muerte "Gamma Bay" (p)2018 Foehn Records
These people they are The Crusaders Of What
Whatever you think of them, in fact they are not ©
“Andromeda”, the single that preceeded the release of “Gamma Bay”, is one of the sweetest and the most accessible songs ever penned by the Canarian psychedelic orchestra GAF y La Estrella de La Muerte. It sounds like a cross-breed between Spacemen 3 and This Mortal Coil (or any other piece of delicate music 4AD Records released back in the 80’s). Guided by this track you may feel like you’re on the verge of listening to the sweetest and the most accessible GAF’s album.
But it’s not. Otherwise, “Gamma Bay” is probably the most uncompromised record since “Sociedad De Bienestar” – their Foehn Records’ debut. It seems like Mladen Kurajica’s longtime friendship with Stephen Lawrie (the core member of the Staffordshire shoegaze-gone-psych outfit The Telescopes whose latest efforts "Hidden Fields" and "As Light Return" seem to be the key references to the GAF’s newly revised sound) finally took over. So forget these mild designations like ‘a bit noisy’ or ‘slightly droning’ that you might apply to “Sunriser”, [at some point] more accessible “Gamma Bay”’s predecessor. Now, if it’s noisy – it’s the kind of ‘noisy’ that could make your ears beg for compassion (“Pitch Black”).
Definitely it’s not the kind of record you may choose to listen to while looking at your record collection guessing ‘what would I like to listen to right now?’ You’re in doubt? Go listen to Feeder. “Gamma Bay” needs the right mood and the right time. It needs your attention – I mean, ALL your attention. It’s nothing like ‘Ok, I’d have a cup of tea in the meantime’. It’s nothing like ‘Oh, how cool and nice is that!’ There’s nothing about ‘cool’. There’s nothing ‘nice’ in here. It’s the complete opposite to ‘nice’. It’s uncomfortable. It’s disturbing. It manages to sustain the certain degree of your anxiety even in the quieter or repetitive moments (aforementioned “Andromeda”, the 1st half of “Firewater”).
As you follow the album’s ups and downs getting trapped by its spins and swirls you come to conclusion that GAF y La Estrella de La Muerte have got their own inner cause and the instincts that guide them wherever they go to – even if you have no idea of what that cause is and does their final destination really exist. They know it better as at the end of the day every burst of noise builds up the melody.