Almost twenty years on from their debut and sixteen full length records down the line, Deerhoof bring us The Magic, a fifteen track LP recorded over seven days in an abandoned office space deep in the New Mexico desert.
And it’s a giddy rush of a record, fifteen tracks of quality, variety and pure joy. Deliriously ramshackle, occasionally muffled yet melodic with shuffling drums and unexpected twists at every turn, this is the sound of a band that continue to flourish at a point in their career where many groups are happy to rest on past achievements.
Often sounding like a dusty LP that The Avalanches might have spent their fifteen year hiatus searching for to purge of every hook for samples, highlights are strewn throughout, with the first half of the LP a more boisterous affair, the deranged ‘Kafe Mania!’ giving way to the rabid, Mudhoney-esque ‘That Ain’t No Life For Me and Life Is Suffering’ making suffering sound like a real delight. But picking highlights is a real challenge, when on each listen a different track stands out.
The press release tells us that ‘The version of Deerhoof you hear on The Magic is a most punch-drunk proposition’ and this is a rather spot on summation. They are reeling from the wealth of ideas at the table, and utterly determined to cram as much as possible into this marginally overlong LP.
The degree of energy, innovation and enthusiasm at play, so long into an already exceptional career means The Magic is a rewarding, if challenging listen, a lively distillation of their respective record collections, bound together largely by the vocals of Satomi Matsuzaki. An unqualified success, here’s hoping for another swift return to these shores after a series of dates earlier this year.