Whilst some bands may sound as if they are stealing from the past, The Orange Kyte sound like they live there. Or at least have occasional use of an apartment with commanding views of an acid-laced, psychedelic, musical time. Chronology may suggest that they are at the modern end of a time-line which runs back though bands such as Spacemen 3 and The Dandy Warhols to some true instigators – The Velvet Underground, The Byrds and even Can – but sonically they could have existed anywhere on it in the last 50 years. This is less about channelling past glories but rather doing what comes naturally.
And what comes naturally is their ability to weave sonic smoke into hazy music, to create ambient, shoegazy soundscapes, drone-like and drug fuelled indie sounds, dream-pop laden with the smoke of a thousand hash pipes…assemble a real stoner smorgasbord from musical morsels purchased at the psychedelicatessen.
Starting life as a self-imposed project by Steven White with the idea to write, record and release a digital single every month as a means to push himself to work within strict limitations, it has since grown a life of its own and Carousel is the third album from the band in four years.
And for all it’s hazy, fluid nature, the writing on the album is great, Sharp enough to hold everything together and loose enough to allow things to retain the required laid back atmosphere and musical nonchalance that such music needs to have to make it sound convincing. Little Death Ballon is a great example of what the album is all about, sounding at once part of a late sixties canon and also wonderfully fresh, swirling with conflicting textures, sax washes and a slightly claustrophobic wall of sound but wonderfully infectious and groovesome too.
Demonstration Garden shows some late era Beatles love, Infinity Rope is a frantic blast of heavy-happy-hippy pop and Masquerade! is what punk might have sounded like if it had been conceived in 1966 rather than a decade later.
Most bands steal from the past, it’s a perfectly natural part of the process. Few bands are so good at it that you wonder if they have time-travelled via a secret door in the dressing room of the Fillmore West having just opened for Grateful Dead!