Ting! So begins the second album from this mysterious Swedish collective.
Ting! As if inviting us into the world of Goat.
Ting! The ritual has begun and we can come together as one.
If you had to describe Goat in one word, that word would be ‘holistic’. This is suggested as much in the spoken introduction to ‘To Travel The Path Unknown’:
“There is only one true meaning of life, and that is to be a positive force in the constant creation of evolution”.
Goat really set out the significance of its work with the first album ‘World Music, an album which was a huge critical success and, I’m sure, sold many more copies than expected. It was one of those albums that, if you thought about it too much, really should not have worked. That it did is testament to the nigh on perfect balance of it’s constituent parts, a balance that Goat seeks in its philosophy.
With Commune’ Goat has taken the ‘World Music’ template and enhanced it, in terms of both the music, the production and the ideas underpinning it. The title is much more ambiguous than its predecessor. Is it referring to the commune that is Goat? Our own holistic communion with natural and/ or spiritual world(s)? Or perhaps even both.
There is certainly a strong spiritual element to this record as the opening chimes immediately suggest, and the album is infested throughout with ritualistic beats and noises; and the shriek of the female vocal is redolent of someone possessed – reaching that ecstatic numinal highpoint of the ritual.
So by communing with Goat, are we in communion with higher powers: powers that are invoked by the music and through the inexorable psychedelic beats we are transported to this holistic place where ideas and genres seem to merge seamlessly? The answer to that can only be in the eyes of the beholder, but I continue to find the collective’s mix of Eastern and Western rhythms to be so beguiling.
This is music that takes you along but challenges you as well. It’s not restful but it is strangely meditative. It is not dance music per se but try keeping keeping still. It is music that somehow operates on a higher plane, and asks you to join it there.
The album has many high points: the lilting Mali-esque beats of ‘Talk To God’ and ‘The Light Within’, the electro-beats underpinning of ‘Words’, the stark political messages of ‘Goatslaves’, the brilliant reverb guitar of ‘Hide From The Sun’, and the wah wah on ‘The Light Within’. Yet while I could go on listing these ‘moments’, together they come together in some form of gestalt oneness to form a hugely powerful message driven by hugely powerful music.
Goat, then, has done it again. It has produced an holistic piece of ritualistic, spiritual and political art which builds on it’s previous work; sounding distinctively Goat without being mundane or humdrum.
Ting! So finishes the Goat album ‘Commune’
Ting! The communion with Goat is at an end, the ritual is over.
Ting! We return to the mundane world a little more fulfilled and energised