Selim Lemouchi And His Enemies - Earth, Air, Spirit, Water, Fire (Van Records)

Profoundly intriguing...
Release Date: 
6 Dec 2013 - 12:30am

Dripping in occult juices, Selim Lemouchi is back. Following on from the now defunct The Devil's Blood, Selim has released an album that, while it isn't exactly metal, is chock-full of wonderment and gorgeousness. Which is a bit odd given his alleged satanic influences (but they do say the Devil has the best songs, don't they?). With only five tracks one may feel there's no value for money but three of the tunes clock in well over ten minutes so you end up with a good forty plus minutes of music; surely some good value for the money conscious listener?

Kicking off with Chiaroscuro, we're treated to some fire and brimstone preacher mixed in with some high pitched moog work - this is dark and trippy stuff - while different vocal lines weave in and out of each other. All the while the hypnotic riffs swirl and mutate. I like it and it reminds me of old David Bowie or Caravan. Nice. In front of the main chugging riff, guitar notes, long and drawn out, howl like the wolves of The Moon tarot card. Anubis could make an appearance at any moment. The outro is more synthy goodness, insectoid like an Emme Ya tune, which oozes into the intro to Next Stop, Universe B (I think some folk call this the other side of the tree or the Mauve Zone but what do I know?). Anyways, this one's a cracking Hawkwind-esque tune with loads of luscious runs on the guitar. Ghost also come to mind, as does, naturally, Blue Oyster Cult. This is a brief tune at three and a half minutes (a Kundalini reference?) after the epic ten minutes of the opening track.

The Ghost of Valentine is next and it's essentially a mellow, ambient number such as you'd get from someone like Brian Eno or Philip Glass on their better days. It lulls you into a sleep-like state before The Deep, Dark Waters freaks the living shit out of you with its weird, disjointed structure, much like something off a Syd Barrett solo album. Strange delays and off beat rhythms snuggle up to synth lines that drift in and out. There are bags more ambient feels on this one and it's certainly isn't metal but I'm loving it. Garbled vocal lines and a variety of different instruments loom in and then disappear and the hypnotic influence is strong again. Suddenly about six minutes in the tune changes tack and becomes a dreamy guitar solo reminiscent of Zappa or Dave Gilmour before getting all raunchy like a huge 70s roaming number.

Finally it's Molasses which continues with the roaming guitars that are drenched in effects. They urge the listener to rise up against the dominant hegemony. Massive synths join in, magnificent beasts of royalty - and the drums! My Word! The drums! It's heady stuff but luckily, before I freak out too much, it all calms down a bit with some more beautiful guitar work and equally charming vocals. I don't know who is doing what (there are over ten musicians credited on here) but I'm in a field on some cushions with the Devil giving me a head massage (though He might be tea-bagging me - I just don't know). A beautiful release that defies labels; occult psychedelia? Bloody lovely?

Give it a go, I say...