They do things differently in Scandinavia. Emil Nikolaisen, the front man of drone-rockers Serena-Maneesh, can still recall the moment that lured him into music, when the music teacher in his Norwegian backwoods village played The Velvet Underground's "Heroin" to a class of small children. Over here, he would probably have been sacked, if not lynched; but Nikolaisen's response shows the efficacy of his teacher's enlightened approach. "I had no idea whether I was fascinated or scared," he says. This is a reaction that may well be echoed by youngsters exposed to this debut album of churning, psychedelic Krautrock, which should delight fans of the Velvets, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain - and, when the guest wind players and a marimba-playing Sufjan Stevens are involved, space-jazz aficionados, too. The subtleties of texture and timbre are clearly more important, in the S-M scheme of things than the building blocks of melody and structure, with tracks like "Candlelighted", "Un-Deux" and the concluding 12-minute opus "Your Blood in Mine" emulating the giddy, swirling mystery of such psychedelic giants as Can and Saucerful of Secrets-era Pink Floyd.
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