ALBUM REVIEW | Mote – Samalas


RELEASE: Samalas

RELEASE DATE: 14th March 2019


Melbourne-based quartet ‘Mote’ unleash a cataclysmic whirligig of sound on their latest long player with every single track literally filled to the brim with motorik krautrock, modern experimental psych and futuristically attuned spaced out jams. Since unleashing their sizzling five track ‘Recordings I’ back in 2017 the band have garnered some serious attention from fans on the worldwide underground psych scene and now they’ve unleashed an absolute sonic behemoth entitled ‘Samalas’, their debut seven track release. Officially unveiled back on March 14th, ‘Samalas’ is a brutish tour de force that takes the listener on a white knuckle, lysergic tinged, sonic thrill ride of ingenious proportions. The album is available to buy/download right now on various formats via

Swirls of droning notes echo and pulse alongside glitchenous electronic frequencies as the opening salvos of ‘Awesome Wells’ permeate the sonic ether. Rattling percussion and the soft purr of acoustic vibes arrive next to meld with twanging guitar and huge swathes of reverb, creating a perfect plunge point just as the track begins to pick up tempo and starts to resonate perfectly. There are sampled vocals here, swirling motorik krautrock like rhythms deftly straddled by addictive throbs of bass that are all wonderfully constructed around that continuous instrumental drone. Massive in stature and fantastically addictive, ‘Awesome Wells’ is an absolute triumph. ‘Jolo’ unfurls it’s sonic tendrils and wraps its cinematic self around a blistering line of guitar and a swirling instrumental drone. Explosive drum patterns exacerbate it’s space rock credentials as we’re spun in and out of catchy chord structures and those wonderful eastern esoteric vibes. Coming in at a whopping nine minutes plus, ‘Jolo’ pulls on the heart strings a tad as it drags you through huge walls of woozy wah wah led guitar and bounces you atop of those huge bass progressions until we’re led into a brilliant break about halfway through that spirals wonderfully into a cacophony of swirling sonic atmospherics. ‘Jolo’ is a seismic sonic blast and an album highlight for me.

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‘Requiem For Al’ begins with a slow moving drone and the soft pulse of repetitive bass notes. Luscious lines of guitar float on top of of reverberating waves of noise leading us gently into massive atmospherically charged chord changes that instil a melancholic edge to proceedings before we fall into that behemoth like break and on into the tracks final throws. Up next, ‘Adventure Call’ slides into the ether on a synth led progression before winding itself up into a magnificent krautrock gem. Wailing guitars, cascading lines of bass and turbulent instrumental drones join in with the sonic melee, adding an intense ambient styled atmosphere until the arrival of the lead guitar that seems to whip and cajole the entire track and that twinkling line of synth that seems to run the gauntlet just below the mix. ‘Adventure Call’ is a fascinating track , possibly my favourite on the entire release and one that I will keep coming back to again & again . The albums title track  ‘Samalas’ is a fourteen minute plus sonic adventure of monolithic proportions mixed with monumentous passages of modern psych, some far out space rock and a sprinkling of ambient abandonment. It builds brilliantly from the off, tumbling through lysergic tinged clouds of frequency laden reverberations peppered with intricate instrumental structures that knit together brilliantly giving off a feel more like a live jam than a track on a studio album. Huge in scope, ‘Samalas’ is absolutely immense.

Having bought the album digitally via bandcamp to support the band, I was pleased to see that it came with two bonus tracks. ‘Magnetic Space’ swirls into the ether on a chittering drone before the arrival of repetitive guitars and drums that collectively cut a wedge into those booming bass heavy notes. Its vocal lines are entrancing, consumed by reverb and hang in a kind of suspended animation just above the charging percussion as the lines of lead guitar undulate in and out of explosive drum fills whilst ‘Hollow’ meanders into audible range on the now customary instrumental drone before a brilliantly constructed bass line ushers in noisy guitars and a steady back beat all the while building into this futuristic sounding sonic behemoth. Reminiscent at times to those UK-based experimental psych heads ‘Dead Sea Apes’, ‘Hollow’ closes out what is now a new addition to my ‘Best Album Releases Of 2019’ list.




Del Chaney - (Author Photo)

Del Chaney has spent the last six years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, postpunk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog – The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm  – Primal Radio –  has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.