Boomkat Product Review:
Tunes of Negation is a new project from Shackleton, featuring Heather Leigh, Takumi Motokawa, and Raphael Meinhart in a world of binding rhythms and ancient harmonics meshed in multidirectional flows, highly recommended for lovers of mystic drumming, psychedelia & syncretic sonic traditions...
Shackleton works up hypnotic group energy alongside avant-goddess Heather Leigh, percussionist Takumi Motokawa, and mallet player Raphael Meinhart in their debut as Tunes of Negation for Shapednoise’s label; Cosmo Rhythmatic. ‘Reach The Endless Sea’ is a heady blast of lysergic, chromatic colour and syncopated rhythms that partly imagines an alternative musical timeline where Hawkwind and Ashra Tempel fans, proto-Humanoid types, and new age travellers who made up the UK’s rave vanguard prevailed against the law to enact a freely psychedelic dance music.
The album follows in the vein of Shackleton’s previous trio of vocal-focussed trips for Honest Jon’s and his Woe To The Septic Heart! label to find the mystic pied piper’s spirit bolstered and tempered by a collaborative, multi-directional flow of energies. Split into five durational parts running between 10-15 minutes each - or long enough to draw listeners into their dilated temporality - the music comes in waves of pointed, timeless intensity and illusory suggestion, subtly shifting pattern with an acid-dosed logic.
Following her triumphant ‘Throne’ LP’ in 2018, Heather Leigh provides sacral vocals to the canto couplet of ‘The World Is A Stage’ and ‘Reach The Endless Sea’, providing an elevated constant between its moire of possessed vibes and lilting rhythms, before the trio of instrumentalists take the reins on a mazy trajectory between the harmonic lather of ‘Tundra Erotic’, thru the sanguine meditation of ‘Nowhere Ending Sky’, and an epic, 15 minute invocation of ancient Indian raga traditions and mountaintop kosmische in ‘Rückschlag / Rising, then Resonant’, before they all come down together in the Amazonian delta flow and oozing sprawl of ‘The Time Has Come.’
While no single description will sum up the potency and conviction of Tunes of Negation, their mission can be summed in a line from a poem by 13th C. mystic Rumi which inspired the album’s title, stating that ‘Reach The Endless Sea’ strives to “aid transmutation and enter into the light.”