Previous Gyratory System albums have certainly received their share of acclaim but this, the third from the London-based three piece, may well be their best yet. It's one of those releases that renders attempts at classification almost distastefully crude, which is why so many attempts to describe it end up taking in a curiously wide spectrum of references, from krautrock to jazz to psychedelic to electronica and all the way back again.
This is, ultimately, electronic music, but while so much of what gets placed under that term sadly appears to regard the production of electric sounds as an end in itself, Gyratory System use it to explore realms too often unexplored in what might broadly be termed popular music: there are elements of neo-classical probing here, and a restless experimental spirit that results in an album that manages to combine the celebral and the rhythmic in a way that shouldn't work, but does, constantly.
I'm playing the sub-ethnic throb of 'AAA' as the opening track in my January 2014 Dandelion Radio show. It's an ideal way to start the year, teeming as it is with rich and extraordinary juxtapositions. But you could say that of the album as a whole, which works as a brilliantly evocative template of possibilities than as a mere collection of tunes.
I've got the excellent 'Lackland' scheduled to feature in February. It's a current favourite, but this is an album I'm sure I'll be discovering new and brilliant things in throughout the year. Utility Music is out now on the Soft Bodies label: get it as a download here and check out the Soft Bodies website for their other releases and other fascinating stuff.