Organ Donor – Malplacé

Posted: 21 March 2023 in Albums
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Thanatosis produktion – 24th March 2023

Christopher Nosnibor

Having frothed with enthusiasm over Mammock not so long ago, I was particularly thrilled to discover Organ Donor, a Swedish/Greek outfit featuring members of Viagra Boys, Grismask, VÖ, Mammock, Angles, Fire! Orchestra, Aurora Ensemble, CBVB and the Mute. Admittedly, I’d expected something more guitar-driven and noisy in the rock sense, but expectations are best when confounded.

Malplacé evolved through improvisation, resulting in what they describe as ‘6 diverse yet coherent tracks, spanning from instrumental kraut, to mystic themes perhaps reminiscent of John Lurie or Loren Connors, to dark, minimal pulsating improv and punkish, full-on, noise outbursts.’ Diversity and coherence tend not to converge too commonly, and in truth tend to sit at opposite ends of the spectrum.

As the rippling vibes and subtly trilling horns of the abstract jazzy post-rock of the first track, ‘A Sleeping Beauty’ meander their way from the speakers, I’m struck by just how far a cry this is from Mammock and The Viagra Boys, and, on reflection, this is something to be pleased about. Why have a collaborative side project that sounds like your main project? It’s like having a hobby that’s the same as your dayjob. You can insert your own example here, because, well, I can’t help but feel that too labour  the point with explicit examples would be crass.

‘Touch’ spills jazz juices across a chiming guitar that jangles over an insistent yet mellow groove, where post-rock meets psychedelia and krautrock. Sometimes, for a moment, I find myself wishing there was slightly less sax, but then, again, the overloading nature of the jazzery is what makes this what it is, and things get really scratchy and discordant on the ten-minute ‘Stemless’. This is one of those freeform pieces that hurts the brain. Everything jars and flits, and toots and parps, squeaks and squawks and twangs and pings, like rubber bands being stretched and plucked across pans and bin lids, bowed notes bend, drone and grind, and it sounds more like a scrap than a song. It groans and wheezes and stutters and heaves, to the point that it’s enough to induce motion sickness.

‘A Sleepwalking Beauty’ provides a welcome moment of rest and tranquillity, before ‘Power Tools’ goes all out on the avant-jazz noise frenzy trip. It’s noisy, noisy, and noisy, a wild chaotic and cacophonous blast and an instant headache which feels a lot longer than a minute and a half.

In contrast, ‘Sci Fi Marmots’ is slow and smoky, an odd yet sedative piece where everything melts away into a haze. I’m tired, and need sleep. I’m all the more tired after experiencing the bind-bending chaos of Malplacé, but have to hand it to the guys in Organ Donor for creating an album that has the capacity to both exhilarate and drain the very life through aural excess. It’s a significant achievement.



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