I imagine Higamos Hogamos travel in big stupid hats and fur coats. I think they might be the most self assured sounding rock band I've heard in a long time. Before grunge and indie rock, rock bravado was a given. Now to hear a band that really knows what the fuck they're doing is such rarity. It think that's partly why I lean so closely these days to dance music and hip-hop. Because in those genres it's all about the outward assurance of musical prowess. It's about showmanship and talent, it's about carnal entertainment. You'd be hard pressed to find anybody in hip-hop feigning malaise and passing it off as hot blooded the way a vast majority of the indie rock scene does. Higamos Hogamos sound so seasoned they make you believe they might have actually accumulated their influences straight from the source. You know, maybe they WERE hanging with Popol Vuh in Munich in 1971, maybe they really took guitar lessons from Zappa, or had a few pleather capes tailored by Bowie's costume designer. What's totally thrilling about how the motorik works its way into this music is that it doesn't just come as a principle function, it's not the motivating force, or the ritual, the way it might have been for Can, for Neu, or any of their contemporary droids. I'm just thinking that the drummer is a fucking rabid animal, who can only play a few different beats, but at least he plays 'em hard. It's not an anemic aesthetic, it's a discerning one. There's an amazingly balanced interplay between synths and guitars. So many groups playing off krautrock or glam end up with 20 different moogs and korgs on stage and no one wielding an axe. The marketplace is too overloaded with vintage synthesizers!! Listen to the opening track "Infinity Plus One", how the synth licks move from foreground to background as the guitars do the reverse. It's smart writing here, it's not all cock and stance. They have a brilliant way of slipping from certain territory into something totally surprising without making it look planned. "Little Switch" is a captivating romp of T.Rex punk that drops the dark machismo mid way through and gets all southern rock. "Moto Neurono" sounds most like a Can groove here, but ends up in a total prog paradise. "The Illuminoids" starts out like Italo disco nightscape and ends up in Eno's detuned spazz world from Here Come the Warm Jets. This is an awesome record everyone. Let it not get remixed ever again.

Infinity Plus One
Moto Neurono
Little Switch
The Illuminoids
Major Blitzkrieg

** For those interested, the story with the name Higamos Hogamos is that they got it from a story about some early 20th century philosopher named William James with a penchant for illicit substances particularly nitrous oxide. One particularly experimental evening, James discovered the meaning of life and wrote it down. The next morning he woke up and having forgotten his discovery of the previous evening he picked up the piece of paper on which was written "Higamos Hogamos".

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