One of the best things about being a music critic is coming up with absurd analogies and metaphors. Check this one: Ignatz’s II is like the Martian equivalent of dustbowl Americana if Mars had underwater 4-track recording studios to document an ancient Druidic folk movement. Seriously. The opening track, “He Deals With Love & Her Eyes Glaze,” is awash in reverb and howling doppler-effected laser bolts, both of which effectively obfuscate the lyrics entirely. Ignatz might be a Belgian singing in English, but from the sound on here he’s positively extraterrestrial. There’s little in the way of “songs” on II, instead there’s an unhurried rambling journey through emotions, moods and states of mind. Melodies pop up for a verse or two, but they’re quickly subsumed by another riff trajectory. “The Dreams” follows suit eking out an 9 minute monochrome drone full of swelling crescendos and tinny leads. “Silver Moon… Shine Sun! Sun! Sun!” is pure Delta blues culled from a dusty 78 and feels more familiar for it, but there’s still a thick alien layer to it, an incongruence in that it sounds so old, but is still a composition in its infancy. Even the bristly “electronic” tracks like “She Will Freeze” don’t have a trace of modernity. Freak folk has rarely sounded this freaky or folky and, more importantly, this vital and timeless.

K-RAA-K: www.kraak.net

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