To be thoroughly German and fall into the house along with the door, today’s premiere is something truly unique; at the very least, yours truly has yet to hear something quite like what the fine gentlemen in Valerian Swing have in store for you. The Italian three-piece, which has shared stages with acts across the modern rock and metal spectrum, including Deafheaven and The Dillinger Escape Plan, cooked up an intriguing, almost psychedelic blend of post-/math rock, dub ambient, and contemporary jazz on “Pond Riddim”. Yes, you read that correctly.

In the seven years since their last record Nights, Stefano Villani, Francesco Giovanetti, and David Ferretti have absorbed a wide array of influences for their upcoming release Liminal, which is due out on June 21 via Pax Aeternum. In their own words, we are bound to ‘hear echoes of artists like GoGo Penguin, Badbadnotgood, Jon Hopkins and Jóhann Jóhannsson alongside occasional glimpses of Battles, Kayo Dot and Italian progressive rock; honestly, I can already hear broad strokes across that spectrum on this one single alone. Eccentric drumming meets chilled-out synth lines, free-range guitars, trippy electronics, and Latin jazz-tinged trumpet lines – not to mention the artificially altered vocals!

‘​​The whole concept started from a dancehall/steppa beat from Francesco. It’s a tribute to the braveness of Jamaican musicians who have made such game-changing art, and a wonderful trip through a colourful mist of our influences.

Conspiracy theorists like to insist that we ‘trust the plan’. Well, we trusted that every input can be transformed into its opposite, and create a meaningful composition. What is the connection between the Jamaican rhythms and this short dream made of foggy piano solo, a rhodes, samples of sexy singers and polyrhythms? The answer is the radicalism and free experimentalism that unites these elements into a whole.

As you can probably glean from these descriptions and quotes alone, you’re in for one mild wild ride with Valerian Swing and “Pond Riddim”. But why trust words on a screen when your ears can absorb all this goodness by themselves just fine? Press play on the video below, which we’re happy to premiere for you as well, and be sure to expect the unexpected!

Whoa. Just – whoa. These visuals go with the subdued strangeness of the music like …; that is to say, quite nicely. Artificial imagery of lush jungle flora and flowing water is interspersed with geometric shapes and an eerily familiar but all too alien humanoid figure – uncanny valley, anyone? It’s all rendered quite beautifully, betraying the massive amount of creative vision and care that must’ve been put into this clip. The contrasts of light and shadow, the pearlescent ripples of water, the gorgeous foliage: none of this looks like your average computer-generated visuals. It’s seriously top-notch.

Again, Pax Aeternum will release Valerian Swing‘s upcoming album Liminal on June 21. If this appetizer called “Pond Riddim” is any indication of the sumptuous feast we’re about to be served, I’ll bring some Tupperware for seconds. Seriously, this is some out-there, inventive musicianship we’re presented with here, and you’d be a fool to miss out on this. Be sure to follow the band’s socials (Bandcamp | Facebook | YouTube) to keep up to speed with them until their new record drops – I’m sure there are a few more tasty singles ahead of us.

Dominik Böhmer

Dominik Böhmer

Pretentious? Moi?

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