Wax Machine


It would be easy for Wax Machine to continue on their path, exploring the same humid psychedelia that has inhabited past releases, but on The Sky Unfurls, The Dance Goes On, Lau Ro and their assembled crew open up the formula to incorporate moments of blissful ambience, folk, touches of jazz, and Tropicália. There’s still a dampness to Wax Machine’s world, but this time the band keeps it from just being an aura around the record’s edges and diving deep into aqueous soundscapes, with water being a central theme for the album. Lau Ro’s Brazilian roots also figure in more prominently. While born in Brazil their upbringing was in the UK and Italy, but a recent return to their birthplace has found an element of Brazilian folk seeping into the works, draped among the excursions into psychedelic jazz.

One of the most pervasive words that always comes to mind when listening to Wax Machine is the word pliable. The songs feel almost gelatinous in sections, combining synths with Isobel Jones’ flute work for sounds that feel like they may be traveling through pipes, rather than wires to reach the listener. On TSU,TDGO, those elements return, but are added to choral vocals and the deep rumble of upright bass. Many of the ‘60s psych touches that burrowed into past works have dissipated on the new album, instead weaving a more pensive tapestry of folk, jazz, and world touches that find Lau Ro exploring their history. Wax Machine has always embraced a sense of flow on albums, and even with the shift in sound, that aesthetic remains on TSU,TDGO, shuttling the listener through pop vignettes interspersed with fluid instrumentals doused in an aquamarine glow. The shift finds the band branching out, but never losing sight of who they are.

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