Minami Deutsch

I feel like this one, as with the previous two Minami Deutsch albums, is flying a bit under the radar. Nestled squarely in the middle of the Guruguru Brain roster, the trio has long been dedicated to a Japanese take on the German Progressive arm of the ‘70s. Not as flashy as the top liners in Kikagaku Moyo, and much more tightly wound than Sundays & Cybele, the band thrives on a lock-groove pulse, though this time they stray a bit from the brain sweat beat that’s become their trademark to embrace the Kosmiche float a bit more. Fortune Goodies slides around the rhythm spectrum, dropping in with a panicked pace from the first few minutes, but letting the wire go slack as they sink deeper into the gaseous groove of their Germanic obsessions.

The record skews more pop than their last couple, though that framing might be a bit misleading. The songs are shorter on Fortune Goodies and cuts like “Pueblo” and “Grumpy Joa,” let the vocals come to the forefront over the rhythm, and in that regard it touches on traditional songform for a while. But, the band isn’t in the habit of creating a full album that leans on those laurels. From the frantic pacing of “Your Pulse,” to the cosmic sweep of “The Border,” Minami Deutsch are more likely to be tuning into the synthetic fog of Harmonia and Cluster or the subcutaneous frequencies of Neu! than letting earworms slip out the earphones. What the band works out on Fortune Goodies is a kind of overview of the whole Cosmic Egg — a Krautrock and Kosmiche primer that swings from motorik menace to prog elegance, pastoral psych around to ambient float. The record is more ambitious than they’ve reached for in the past, and the world they’ve created is a wonder to get lost in.

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