Fifteen years into their career, Brooklyn’s Oneida have become something of a New York institution. Most commonly associated with psychedelia and rhythm-driven Krautrock, forays throughout their career into minimalism, noise and electronic rock have made them impossible to classify, but it’s fair to say that however they choose to present it, the group’s music has always been about pushing boundaries and expanding minds. In recent years they have chosen to enforce this ethos with a series of 12-hour “Ocropolis” events (named after their Williamsburg studio), and these mammoth all-day improvisation/ collaboration sessions appear to have had varying effects on their recorded output; on the one hand they have produced one of the band’s most thrillingly diverse collections (the two hour-long, triple-LP set of prog nuggets, drones and lengthy drum solos Rated O), whilst on the other they’ve inspired an album (last year’s Absolute II) comprised completely of the kind of beatless musique concrete seemingly designed to test the patience of the most die-hard fan. Twelfth full-length A List Of The Burning Mountains sits somewhere between those two extremes, with the group again performing an extended exploration of a single idea, albeit this time one with a few more twists and turns. Split into two side-long tracks, the instrumental piece starts with a gently pulsing keyboard drone before an evil bass hum, sporadic drum-rolls and, eventually, cruching, howling guitars join the fray; the various components then drop out and re-enter at random points, adapting riffs and rhythms to suit. And really, that’s about it. Not a great deal happens over the course of its forty minutes, and yet, magically, it manages to captivate pretty much the whole time, with effortlessly expressive drummer Kid Millions in particular belying the skill it takes to play his instrument with anything approaching subtlety or restraint. You can hear a “preview” (read: cut & paste edit) below, which teases the overall vibe, but you’ll need to grab the whole thing in order to get the most out of it. Forget your preconceptions and pigeonholes; lock in, zone out and prepare to have your horizons widened.
A List Of The Burning Mountains is out November 13 via Jagjaguwar.