Wizardzz Hidden City of Taurmond

[Load; 2006]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: instrumental rock, electro, ambient, noise
Others: Ratatat, Lightning Bolt, Nautical Almanac, Kraftwerk

Bassist Brian Gibson of Lightning Bolt and keyboardist Rich Porter of Bug Sized Mind team up here as Wizardzz to shake out some fantasy-themed video game jams. Occasionally hitting the anthemic height of Ratatat ("Sailship," "Chasing Our Shadows") or jetting off into Gibson's main band's noisy nethers ("Ambushed by Time Quagga", the epic "Sea Battle at Orkusk"), Hidden City of Taurmond is clearly some ridiculous nonsense. The pleasant surprise, however, is that Gibson and Porter play it just straight enough to work, the same way the Go! Team lock down '70s TV show grooves and the Advantage honor their 8-bit idols. Interludes like "Diamond Mirror" nail the early experimental-electronic sound, and "The Bubiliad Woods of Taurmond" is a Hella suite with no guitars. Call me a doubter, but I had this pinned as a one-off piss take like Twiggy Ramirez' Goon Moon, before I realized just how fun this was. More ambient and conceptual than any of the other artists or records mentioned above, Wizardzz showcase Gibson and Porter's talent for backing up a goofy idea with solid execution. Good on 'em; I've no wish to hate on a record with a song called "Ambushed by Time Quagga."

1. Disembark
2. Sailship
3. Whispers from Wallface
4. Glimpses of the Hidden City
5. Jelipper Lilly Field
6. "Do Come In" (tea and chulliwigs)
7. Sea Battle at Orkusk
8. Diamond Mirror
9. Chasing Our Shadows
10. Ambushed by Time Quagga
11. the Bubiliad Woods of Taurmond
12. Ladydragons
13. Rest at the Gate
14. Mimi Vivian Sunrise

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