Cavern of Anti-Matter

Hormone Lemonade

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AllMusic Review by

On Hormone Lemonade, Cavern of Anti-Matter return to the core trio of Tim Gane, Joe Dilworth, and Holger Zapf, who prove that they don't need anything but their own chemistry to keep heads bobbing. Freed from the collaborations that sometimes distracted from their grooves on Void Beats/Invocation Trex, the group deliver some of their most freewheeling experiments. Cavern of Anti-Matter built the album on hours of free-form electronic rhythms that Zapf created, Gane edited, and all three members embellished with more beats, synths, and guitars. The trio make the most of these fluctuating foundations throughout Hormone Lemonade, but its opening track is especially stunning: At 16 minutes long, "Malfunction" is the perfect showcase for the extended interplay at which Cavern of Anti-Matter excels. It's hard not to get swept up in the band's momentum as the song's Motorik beat shifts from chunky to gliding and back again while languid guitars and a hopscotching synth bass weave in and out of the proceedings. Later, "Outerzone Jazs," which spans sounds that range from early electronic music to '70s fusion, and "Automatic Morning," which could be the soundtrack to a short sci-fi film, feel like smaller, but just as impressive, expressions of "Malfunction"'s scope. Hormone Lemonade's depth and breadth are matched only by how deftly Cavern of Anti-Matter borrow from their recent and distant past. "Make Out Fade Out" harks back to Blood Drums' mischief; the poignant standout "Solarised Sound" sounds like it was beamed in from Void Beats/Invocation Trex's dreamier territory; and "Phase Modulation Shuffle" reaffirms that Stereolab's shimmying guitars and beats still have plenty of life in them. As Cavern of Anti-Matter embarks on a deep space voyage with the album's suite-like final third that culminates with the lovely "Phantom Melodies," they prove their music has an irresistible momentum, no matter how ambitious it gets.

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