Pepe Deluxé is closing in on the release date for their fourth album, Queen of the Wave (due January 31 on Asthmatic Kitty/Catskills). It’s been five years since their last full-length, 2007’s Spare Time Machine, and they have used the most of every minute: they reorganized the group dynamic to composer Paul Malmström, sound scientist James Spectrum, and their distinguished Rolodex; renovated the world’s largest instrument; tracked down gear used by legendary producers like Joe Meek and Kearney Barton; interpreted a text written in 1886 about the last days of Atlantis; and generally geeked out to achieve an aural and lyrical concept album of unparalleled ambition.
Those on their mailing list were treated to a teaser in the form of “The Storm” late in 2011, but January 17 will see the release of Queen of the Wave’s first official single “A Night and a Day,” complete with remixes by K-X-P, Mex Luthor (a.k.a. Black Grass), and several others. To assign “A Night and a Day” an easily consumable genre, one may call it psychedelic surf trip-hop freak-out. However, all attempts to classify it cannot quite cover the grab bag of influences and obscurities gathered together for this song, let alone its mystifying video. Like the album, this is just something that has to be experienced first hand.