Githead - Waiting For A Sign
Githead are Colin Newman (Wire), Malka Spigel and Max Franken (Minimal Compact), and Robin Rimbaud (Scanner). But who they are is far less important than what they are: a band, rather than just a collaboration between individuals, each with their own highly regarded creative r̩sum̩. Githead formed in 2004, for what was initially intended as a one-off performance at the Swim record label's ICA-hosted 10th anniversary event. Over the course of preparations for the gig, though, it quickly became obvious to all involved that there was a natural and rare chemistry between them, one that held the potential for significant organic development. Waiting for a Sign marks the return of Githead after a five-year break from recording and pushes further than their previous records, underscoring the band's commitment to pursuing new directions.åÊ Fans will recognize many of the classic Githead tropes here: the hypnotic, motorik repetition, the weighty bass lines, and the dreamy melodicism that have come to define the band's aesthetic. But Waiting for a Sign isn't about sticking with a proven formula: Githead are forward-looking musicians, committed to reinvention rather than recycling. As previous releases such as Art Pop (2007) and Landing (2009) show, Githead's fort̩ has increasingly been to bring the synergy and inventiveness of their live performances to bear on the studio process. For this album, however, they upped the ante, arriving at the studio without any written material and trusting that their response to each other's ex-temporization, as well as to the mood and the surroundings, would get the creative juices flowing. "Slow Creatures" is a good example, kicking off in an almost heretically bluesy mode, although this flavour eventually dissolves into a larger hypnotic groove as the track builds. There's a similar effect on "Air Dancing," its introduction combining Kala bass and acoustic guitar. Most memorable is "For the Place We're In," whose melodic structure makes it Githead's first bona fide folk song. Approaching the project as something of a blank slate, their minds free of predefined ideas and open to creativity makes this their most accomplished release thus far.