22 January 2024

MASALA MONET – Acid Gurken (2023, LP Tonzonen Records) 




Label: Tonzonen Records

Format: LP, Album, Limited Edition, Yellow/Green Vinyl, plus download code, 300 copies

Release Date: 27 Oct 2023

Here’s an interesting new band, Masala Monet, hailing from Mühldorf, Germany, releasing their debut album “Acid Gurken” (translates to “Acid Cucumber”) through Tonzonen Records. A member of this ethno-jazz-prog-electro-psych rock sextet is an old acquaintance of mine, Mister Max Schörghuber (guitar, sitar, vocals) which I know from his Karakorum days (a progressive/krautrock band), so I’m guessing that all other dudes in the group might be in other bands too, or maybe not, anyway besides Max the other 5 musicians are Axel Hackner (organ, electric pianos, synths, vocals, and also a member of Karakorum), Bernd Roßmanith (saxophones, throat singing), Julian Käsmaier (trumpet, percussion, backing vocals), Marius Uhl (bass), Robin Herold (drums, tabla, percussion). Here’s a little info from their Bandcamp page:

“Masala Monet is a southern Bavarian sextet blending Rock music with a big variation of spices and herbs. You can taste the influence of Jazz, Psych, or Electronica, making the German underground scene a bit more diverse. Bon Appétit!

What do a naked sadhu in the deepest Himalayas and the oldest techno-temple in Phnom Penh, Cambodia have in common? At first glance, not very much, but the sextet “Masala Monet” uses both as a source of inspiration for their sound. The love of music and travel connects the six dudes from the Bavarian province and so they naturally merge exotic sounds with the most diverse musical varieties. Here psychedelic electro-dub meets free jazz or traditional blues is suddenly shot to pieces with a crooked beat and a snotty punk sound. Music is like a good curry – it all depends on the right mixture of spices. Masala Monet does not skimp on the seasoning and is eaten hot. Bon Appétit!”…

All 5 songs of “Acid Gurken” are written by Masala Monet while legendary Eroc did the mastering… The album takes off with “A Rehearsal Of Departure”, a track that starts in a slow and kind of gentle neo-prog/post-rock way, the Sax makes the song sounding like a dreamy-like prog balladesque tune, but after the 2:30 minute the track change its form (!) the scenery remains slow but enormous doses of Acid are sprayed all over, the result of the transformation is a PSYCH anthem where Heavy alternates with Light (and the opposite), though somehow magically the band manages to return to its initial “state”, ending in a soft proggy way… Wow… What follows is my personal favorite, the psychedelically weird “Naga Baba Raga”, and I really do not have the right words to describe this MAGNIFICENT piece of music, a thumping gamma of PSYCH related (and no related) styles and sub-genres interchange, throat-singing launch the track into a colorful obscurity, there’s plenty of India, and Middle East, and West Coast Psychedelia, and avant-garde experimental sounds, all resulting a mind-bending psychedelically expanding fantastic journey to the unknown depths of Brain, a brain damage indeed! The next one, “Wintertime Madness”, starts like a theme from a 60s cult spy movie, proggy scenery with a mournful Sax, acting like a melancholic power rock ballad from the 80s, slowly the Sax is taking the lead, then Guitar, then Keys, finally becoming a cool Neo-Prog ballad song! Side ‘B’ opens with “Welcome To The Heart Of Darkness”, there’s a spoken-word intro, kind of a monologue, under a mystical Psych soundscape, though the transformation that is about to happen, it literally blew my mind, the track masterly becomes something like a sophisticated tribal-flirting Psych-Techno/Trancey anthem! A completely weird danceable funky-ish Psych-o-trance-a-delic tune, totally addictive! Eventually, the album comes to an end with “Faces Of Bayon”, a melodic piano intro, soft and warmly gentle vocals drenched deeply into nostalgia, this is a ballad starting acoustic becoming electric, entering a Prog path (of course) but flirting with avant-garde Psych and losing its primary id, and finally becoming a majestic piece of Psych-o-fusion where the Sax leads the track to some other different faraway territories, superb! Masala Monet don’t take things too seriously. They  primarily want to have fun, and I believe they do it with an amusing exciting groovy psych-a-something way, so… Hats off to Masala Monet, for being authentically splendid! I really enjoyed their “Acid Gurken” LP to the last second and I’m desperately waiting for their next move, is it going to be another dangerous vegetable from their Acid Garden? We’ll have to wait and see… TimeLord Michalis

PS by the way, of course “Acid Gurken” made the list with my best TOP 50+1 albums of 2023, peaking at No.12  (check the list here)  



A1 A Rehearsal Of Departure 8:34
A2 Naga Baba Yaga 6:18
A3 Wintertime Madness 9:12
B1 Welcome To The Heart Of Darkness 7:13
B2 Faces Of Bayon 10:13



Listen/Buy through MASALA MONET Bandcamp

Visit MASALA MONET Facebook

Get the album via TONZONEN RECORDS Web





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