MY SLEEPING KARMA are a quartet of German Instrumentalists who specialise in Psychedelic/Stoner/Spacey style groove rock without the complications of a singer. Now, anyone who follows my reviews will quickly realise that I am quite partial to a bit of Instrumental Stoner stuff. So you may think I am automatically going to recommend this.
Well…I am, but it is a genuinely great record, it’s not just because it ticks all the right boxes for me.
The band have been doing this for quite a while now, but ‘Soma’ is their debut on Napalm Records. This is an obvious label for them to be snapped up by as it already homes some great space/stoner bands such as Monster Magnet and Karma to Burn. My Sleeping Karma don’t just fade into the background though, they’re pretty damn good at this game too.
My Sleeping Karma’s music is very rich in layers and texture compared to a lot of instrumental bands. Their spacey sound is achieved by having a full time soundboard man, known as Norman, who takes the music out on the astral planes of your mind with ease. A lot of the tracks on ‘Soma’ are long in duration and are slow building, sometimes almost straying into ambient territory. The long drawn out passages are complimented rather splendidly by the harder edged riff-fests that do not dominate the album, but do provide great balance to the record.
There’s no better track to sum up what the band are all about than ‘Ephedra’. Clocking in at over seven minutes, it starts with some rain drops and some tender guitar work. The track slowly builds from there with a persistent riff and rumbling bass until the inevitable ‘rock out’ towards the end. The main tracks are separated by several interludes which provide mainly soft teasers into the main songs and again add so much depth to the album.
‘Soma’ is named after the intoxicating drink of the Gods, and this album is a pretty good representation of that. It takes over your mind like a drug beautifully, and mixes some great chill-out moments with equally pleasing rock-out passages. It’s a bit like a musical mix of ‘uppers’ and ‘downers’, but less psychologically damaging.
If your a fan of Stoner, Instrumental Rock and especially bands like Pelican or Monster Magnet, this album is a must! They capture the dark heaviness of Pelican whilst mixing it with luscious layers of stoner buzz to perfection. If you’ve never had much time for instrumental records before, this could be the one to sway your opinion.
‘Soma’ is out on Napalm Records 1st October