Minibus Pimps artwork - permission from Prescription PR

We feel it was inevitable that music writer, radio dj and all round good ‘sort’, Ben P Scott would eventually succumb to our persistent haranguing to contribute. And after juggling his commitments as both a pillar of the God Is In The TV’s music zine, and as the host of eclectic radio show on Melksham Town Sound whilst also running his very own successful daily blog, RW/FF, Ben has finally found a few nanoseconds from his harassed schedule to offer appraisal, thoughts, observations and adroit opinion on the records we send him.

Time bankrupt but ever willing, we’ve thrown Ben in at the deep end with the latest harried and ‘difficult’, Minibus Pimps, project from the Zep’s totem bass player, John Paul Jones and Norwegian bright spark, Helge Sten.

Minibus Pimps   ‘Cloud To Ground’  (SusannaSonata Records) – Available Now

When a band is brought to my attention and they go by the ludicrous name of Minibus Pimps, it’s fair to say that their moniker is going to grab my attention more effectively than many others. But even more interesting than their alias is their personnel, which is made up of prolific Norwegian electronic musician Helge Sten and former Led Zeppelin man John Paul Jones. However, this is no heavy blues folk rock or anything even vaguely musically connected to the 70’s output Jones played his part in, in fact the blacker than black Cloud To Ground is recommended only for those with an ear for the experimental and an open mind. Feeding all the instruments into a computer system they call “the Kyma”, the parts re-emerge mutated and unrecognisable, heightening the strangeness of the whole thing.

Featuring four somewhat challenging tracks culled from various live recordings, the LP begins with the doom-y suite ‘Black Aurora Parts 1-4’ where corrupted guitar (?) sounds spike through the sonic like barbed wire as an apocalyptic drone emerges amongst the busy chatter of frightening electronic noises and a fierce wind blows against a rising, metallic sci-fi hum. Howls of despair die down before a cosmic storm begins to brew and synths buzz like intergalactic bees: It’s certainly not a cheerful little ditty, that’s for sure.

On the title track we are given chimes, bells and a riot of unearthly sounds and again, nothing resembling a rhythm, melody or structure, just a dense, terrifying atmosphere. Ghostly screams rise from an ominous electronic fog during ‘Arc’ while the dark, peculiar tones of ‘Superbolt’ provide a deeply unsettling vehicle for saxophones that babble like geese under a burst of unholy thunder before the track fades to a deathly calm.

Containing menacing soundscapes made up of “composed and improvisational elements on an equal scale”, Cloud To Ground is not one for the faint hearted.


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