-Greg’s Take- Fops: For Centuries

There was a revolution that took place decades ago in dimly lit clubs beneath Londonthat brought about some of music’s greatest bands. This revolution was taken like a hit of acid and swallowed whole by rock. Though emerging briefly in a mutated form through the likes of Morrissey it found solace in the shadows to be kept alive by artistes once again.

Crediting the likes of German electronic pioneers Cluster and experimentalists Faust for inspiration, Chadwick Donald Bidwell and Dee Kesler have combined forces to build on what is the latest emergence of pure psychedelic rock. Sugar coated, it is referred to as simply experimental electronic rock with mentally stimulating variance, but we don’t need that. We can recognize this for what it is.

Last year, Bidwell and Kesler, released Yeth, Yeth, Yeth under the name Fops via Monotreme Records. Almost a year to the date the duo has released For Centuries. The seven tracks of richly layered modern psychedelia exude both their inspirations as well as their willingness to truly earn the moniker “experimental.” Fops has taken the drugs out of psychedelic rock and maintained the ability to experience the design. Tracks like “Fops On Tour” deliver a subconsciously invigorating melodic anthem over an worldly sound. Setting off in an ambient synthesized lead in, drums slowly fade into the scene with an Eastern acoustic riff. Muted acoustic strums balance the ethereal vocals as they dance among the different levels finely tuned into a genre crafted decades ago. There is a modern electronic infusion built into their style as evident in “Dolive Dreams.” Laid out like an early Syd Barrett track, the multifaceted fifth track combines shrieking nuances with space-age retro instrumentals. Completing the seven tracks is “Ronald Wilson Reagan,” which introduces a muffled electronic progression and a lone tambourine; the twenty minute finale thrives in Fops’ ability to utilize the emptiness in their mastery of an obviously well thought-out follow up.

Keeping their sound relevant to the album, For Centuries avoids becoming monotonous, even after that final track. They have run a line between electronic and psychedelic with their modern infusion; a line that has definitively seen the ups and downs of many who emulate both. Fops has kept the heavy beats and pulsating synthesizer off the forefront of this album to balance out each piece as true fans of the sound could only hope for. By finding a balance they have finely constructed ambient pure psychedelic rock that avoids the depressing feel of Morrissey and reinvigorates a stale style. In honor of their roots, Fops has relased a limited edition cassette edition, yes “tape,” of For Centuries.

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