I don't know of many previous match-ups between the Isle of Man and Istanbul - in fact I'm not sure I know of any - but the concept seems loaded with interesting possibilities. So, when the Manx Small Bear label announced they'd put out an album from Istanbul husband and wife duo Reptilians From Andromeda, I was firstly intrigued, then delighted, then finally blown away.
With cap doffed firmly in the direction of the excellent Postcode, I can't think of a release on Small Bear that's thrilled me as much as this. Although there's a psychedelic spaciness about RFA, it merges and collides with a discordant new wave jerkiness to take it somewhere entirely different.
Take opener 'Psychic Girl' as an example, where a Nico-meets-Grace Slick vocal lies atop a kind of militaristic beat to deliver the kind of triumph of clashing musical sensibilities that makes this collection so instantly unforgettable. Or take a song that, with a title like 'Wicky Wacky Witches' has no right to work, yet does far more than that, its slow burning melodic growl offering a perfect contrast to the wild cacophony of closing track 'Like the River to the Sea'.
The EP's highlight, for me, is 'Jungle', a frantically meshed together tumble of possibilities where a more up-front vocal line meets meandering guitar lines and, yes, animal noises. It's the kind of meeting of musical possibilities you really hope will work and which, in the hands of Reptilians From Andromeda, certainly does and I'm playing it in my Dandelion Radio show this month.
Get Sonic Rabbit Hole from the band's bandcamp site on CD or as NYOP download here.