AEM111 The Window Right

The Window Right are a three piece space rock musical outfit. Right? Suppose so. Space is a nice place for these Brits. None of their tracks can seem to stay grounded. There’s an skyward trajectory to their instrumental stylings, an upward lift that breaks songs open from a jog to a gallop to a sprint. Combine the grand scope of prog rock, plus terse jazz nods, with the epic vistas of krautrock, and circumscribe the action inside the crisp lines of Brit pop, and you have the Window Right. They are a live band’s live band. Grinding out technically accomplished digital/analog jamouts that preserve an unleashed spontaneity alongside the precision. Though the three piece has performed with the likes of Damo Suzuki, famed Can vocalist and all around avant garde rock god of the 1970s, the Window Right’s music trends towards the ultra-contemporary. In their pulsing metric machismo, the guitar/bass/drums/laptop ensemble achieves the automaton flair of a mellower Richard D. James. The gentle valleys and peaks are even reminiscent of pre-suck Coldplay (yes, there was a time they didn’t suck), though when the band dials up the intensity they match the aggressive ferocity of neukrautrock and hausrock contemporaries Dinowalrus (in the US) and Drum Eyes (in the UK). The scope of the Window Right’s music spans a vast emotional and historical divide, the sort of reach that only instrumental music, without the articulated commitment to topical ephemera, can accomplish.

The affinity between The Window Right’s approach and some of the classic Krautrock has spawned an ongoing collaboration with Damo Suzuki. The three members of The Window Right - Matt, Neil, and Smudge - bring a new school element of laptop sampling and electric beats to the old “meat and potatoes” rock ensembles of yore. When the new and old school elements meet each other halfway on the shared common ground of live improvisation the results can be pretty magical. A recent TWR/Damo gig at the Hoxton Square Bar in London was an exercise in pure spontaneity, sheer creation, a rock ‘n’ roll séance. None of the songs were premeditated, preplanned; the night unfolded as an adventure of raw musical intrigue, a Lizard King odyssey importing digital elements back into the primordial analog soup of surly, sweaty invention. With such an superlative rapport, the upcoming TWR/Damo gig at the Hebden Bridge Trades Club at the end of July is not to be missed.

Chainsaw guitar chews through the first minute-and-a-half of the A side “BOW SONG” , a metal machine monument to sonic violence. For The Window Right, the industrial siren song acts as entrée to a more primitive landscape that relies on the textural possibilities of sound over the melodic. A warm walking bass opens up a grand vista premised on the vagaries of a spare, warbling three or four note guitar lick. Barely a lick, a skeletal apparition of a musical theme. This is music for the millennial masses, part of the wayward joint drift of the avant-garde and popular consciousness away from the ideological mainstream of modernist constructivism. A Beatles/Stockhausen presentation of a Can/Reich production of a Neu/Glass film. The Window Right chases after the profane peculiarities of transcendence in songs that wrinkle and flex between opposed poles of ectoplasmic desire and astroliminal logorrhea: grade-A existential jabberwocky. The song opens up with a light touch reminiscent of a new age minimalism, but the percussion bites down hard, the sting and moan of the electric guitar radiates a feverish intensity that militates against the too easy mystico-spiritual solutions of the unicorn-and-seashell elite. In the contrapuntal variations of light and dark you can hear the bloodbath of the mid-20th century, the total annihilation that sucked the air out of Western civilization for a generation, the lingering embarrassment of rehabilitation, the survivor’s guilt. “BOW SONG” searches for a clarity free of remorse, but uncovers only the needling tension of an anxious soul trapped in a hall of mirrors.

The fragile pitter-patter of a bright-eyed Telecaster ushers in an air of sobriety on the B side “GREENDIVIDEDBBLUE” . Gone are the Sisyphean gesticulations of “BOW SONG” . In their stead a palpable calm overtakes the music, as slow and gentle as an advancing cloud. The guitar notes pass crisply and clearly; the hi hat rings clean; the bass leads you by the hand. The overall approach is so well calibrated that you hardly register the quickening pace, the rush of the cymbals, the measured ecstasy of the slide to double time right before the three minute mark. As if a wind picked up; as if a jet pulled off the tarmac; as if a wild horse had jumped the fence, headed at breakneck pace into the highlands, the sinews straining with mad grace, becoming a blur, a speck on the horizon, then lost into the free nothing. The Window Right’s B side is an acceleration into empty freedom, free of pain and devoid of hope.

A new EP and a new album are in the works for The Window Right. The trio are feverishly recording material now, esconced snugly in their studio above a London carwash. Hours and hours of live jams are being put down in search of that magical moment. The method speaks to the Window Right’s commitment to the live sound, the limitless challenge of capturing the uncapturable, sustained by the enduring belief, which all musicians share (except DEVO), that music is a moving image of eternity. A hearkening to the immutable gyrations of the celestial spheres. A six-stringed paean to the gods supported by beer, perspiration, and the white noise hum of a warm amp. More gigs are on the horizon for The Window Right, around the UK and on an upcoming Scandinavian tour, so look them up before the album comes out because nothing replaces the experience of live music.