Album: Ba&iuml;konour <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

For the Lonely Heart of the Cosmos, MELODIC
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The Independent Culture

Baïkonour is the nom de disque of the Brighton-based Jean-Emmanuel Krieger, whose work is informed, according to his press release, by My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, Soft Machine, Alice Coltrane, Neil Young, Boards of Canada, Sixties psychedelia, Jamaican and Indian musics, and Japanese noise bands - an eclectic collection linked by their experimental attitude and disregard of commercial imperatives. Most of all, Krieger loves Krautrock. For the Lonely Heart of the Cosmos is stuffed full of chugging, minimalist instrumental grooves such as "Oben Beg (Mk 2)" and "2/3/74", with chunky bass underpinning his electric piano and mesmeric organ and guitar figures. The most successful, "Proto-Coeur", is a scudding Can-style groove - though not as metronomic as Jaki Liebezeit's cyclical drum patterns - overlaid with organ tremors that recall John Cale and Terry Riley's cult classic Church of Anthrax. Elsewhere, the opening "Lick Lokoum" forms from the musical equivalent of thin air, crystallising out of quiet drones and the modulating synths in "Coltan Anyone?" multiply like a flock of birds assembling to block out the sun.They're all enjoyable enough to lock into though the album lacks the unpredictability that makes the best Krautrock so edgy and exciting.