Heimat [LP; Kill Shaman]

I queried Kill Shaman Recs 3-4 years ago about submitting records, and whether they’re just lately getting around to responding (with vinyl!) or they found my address some other way, I’m elated because this Heimat stuff is among the most fascinating musics I’ve covered in this sacred space. Heimat is a bit like a Slumber Party (old Kill Rock Stars act) mixed with Boredoms, steady with its simple drum-machine beats but complex in its mission to melt yr mind. Are those synths purposely topped with melted cheese? Do songs like “Trocadero” muddle around in middle gear for a reason? What is the singer saying? Don’t expect easy answers, if any at all. Yet it’s impossible to spin this shiny, waxy set of tracks without forming a strange attachments to its many quirks. I’ve never heard the acts Heimat splinters off off, Cheveu or The Dreams (how was that name not taken in the late 60s?), so I have no template to work from; that might be part of the reason for my initial askance attitude. Whatever my qualms, after several high-intensity spins I’m all agog about this band, hoping it doesn’t become a side-project casualty and looking forward to, I dunno, a double-cassette release maybe? (IT COULD HAPPEN!) Problem is, I’m still in the dark as to what drew me into Heimat’s murky, rhythmic thicket. Let’s figure this out together. Those haunting samples that sound like flutes hiding in swamp reeds are a good start, lending “Afrikistan” a haunting backdrop for its gnarly conglomeration of digital bass and off-beat high-hats. Then the song actually KICKS IN and it’s like Les Georges Leningrad never left, and maybe got a little more biz-minded. Well, that settles it: “Afrikistan” alone is reason enough to take the trip, such a hectic, swaying-in-the-breeze piece of art-punk I almost yearn to hear the vocalist let out a few rippin’ screams. Alas, that’s half the point. Like a more hyper Puce Mary, Heimat maintain a steady keel and never run their train off the rails, an approach much more likely to drive us all to insanity than you’d think. You keep waiting for that bubble to burst, and… well, keep waitin’. I missed out on reviewing that Dan Melchoir/Russell Walker (though that’d make a sublime Delorean, so that could happen) LP, so I’m stoked to give Heimat the longer, lavish Cerbs spa treatment it deserves. Soak the vibes like steam into your pores, you rotten devils, and purchase vinyl or go to hell (seriously, if you don’t pay for music you’re a piece of garbage).

Links: Kill Shaman


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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