I was fortunate to spend time in the company of The Myrrors when they played in Glasgow in February 2018. In fact, they came to stay at OBLADADA before the long drive south to their gig the following night in Brighton before snaking back through Europe. Quite apart from the gig itself, it was fascinating to spend time with Nik Rayne, Prab Virdee, Miguel Urbina and Grant Beyschau and discuss the ideas behind their music as well as their vast range of influences.
One thought we shared was why they called are called The Myrrors. I offered a theory (which was wrong!) but the band all agreed it made perfect sense. My idea was the they simply revel in their influences – a celebration of the music they worship – sonic reflections to form a musical sublime.
It’s perhaps the Trad Gras Och Stenar / Harvester / International Harvester tangent that’s always talked to me most clearly the most in their music. Slow grooving rock music that delights in standing on the spot endlessly and simultaneously all the more third eye tickling as a consequence. A musical form devoid of solos or virtuously, just packed with a magical texture, tensions and a nod towards a droning avant garde. Music that can just as easily exist for minutes or hours.
Since 2018’s Borderlands the group have found time to explore solo projects, Rayne dropping two volumes of Afghan infused tape manipulated psych rock under the name Naujawanan Baidar and now Beyschau releasing the wonderfully potent Wooden Flower under the name of Tambourinen.
This time warping 30-minute release fades in with the 12-minute title track. The interlocking guitar, drum and fuzzy debris-strewn atmosphere feels like it’s already being zoned out forever before we get invited in. Flute spiralling eventually appears in the next bank of clouds as huge flanging waves crumble endlessly before calming down some 7 minutes into the worm hole. The rich afterglow would be enough to render the track as superb but quite unexpectedly, a rounded organ drone pulses and mirages out of nowhere like neon dipped raindrops in the last few minutes.
The dense dragging of Wolloensak somehow sonically redraws the lo-fi quality of the tree silhouette on the sleeve. A slow enmeshing of buzzing organ, outer space guitar and drums that plot the night sky. Another 3-minute capsule that would be as welcome in a 3-hour format.
Power To swaggers in with another superbly rolling kosmic groove. As the album expands, the only thing the listener is called on to do is find the right place to crank the volume as far as they dare. 14 minutes long, the track has an endlessly thrashing quality that’s as double dipped and fully interstellar as Ash Ra Tempel or Trad Gras ever cooked up.
The brief closer, and meta twin to Power To is The People which feels like a field recording of some street performer at the corner of some far away incense fogged city. A folky circling that gives another more acoustic dimension to this utterly engrossing album.
I assume Beyschau is playing the various elements alone on Wooden Flower, one track at a time, and layering together into a fully accomplished musical statement, there is something hugely impressive about this seemingly low-key release. Tambourinen might be thought of as another morsel whilst we wait for another Myrror’s record, but this gem is truly as significant as anything to come from that rich vein of Sonoran Desert birthed creativity so far.
Wooden Flower is an uppercase monster.
Wooden Flower is out now on cassette and DL here