This review from renowned Hawkwind author, Ian Abrahams......Here’s a new CD-R from a project that I’ve enthused about previously, Vert:x, this one a four-track release entitled Ggantija which is apparently named after an ancient temple on the island of Malta. I’d noted the previous offering, a.f.m.o.m.a.h.e, as being industrial space-freighter spacerock; Ggantija is as heavy but in a more krautrock vein, lots of improvisation and noise experimentation around a single riff or sequence.
The opening salvo, ‘Orthostat’, also appears on the Vert:x myspace page where the original version of this can be heard. Its appearance here is both extended and refined, with Civilian Zen’s Keith Hill adding drums and some glissando guitar to Vert:x main-man Neil’s bass and synths. Eleven and a half minutes of driving rhythms. ‘a.f.m speaks’, I’m told, is alternatively known as ‘a floating mass speaks’, which Neil describes as ‘heavily influenced by Colossloth’s ‘Fly Silver Corpse, Fly’, that CD has been on heavy rotation at Vert:x central for a good year or so.’ That’s not a project that I’m familiar with but will check out in due course. Slow, dense and dark, ‘a.f.m speaks’ has a cold, Eastern Bloc tone with precise but unhurried drumming to the fore and some insistent lead guitar behind it.
‘Cube Abuse’, Neil comments as having ‘developed into a mutant form of krautrock influenced by Neu!’s three albums’ and which ‘stands as a tribute to Klaus Dinger’ (who passed away during 2008). As you’d anticipate, a straight-forward and abbreviated bass-riff with an insistent drum beat supporting it. Finally, ‘Vertex #5’ is the latest version of this composition.
Ggantija demonstrates that Neil and Keith are continuing to have great results with their sonic deliberations; this is one is going to appeal to both spacerock and krautrock enthusiasts, whilst their appearance at the Sonic Rock Solstice down in Wales on the 20th June should prove to be very interesting indeed.