What started as a bedroom project in 2009 has become one of the UK’s most exciting psychedelic music acts. Majesty has just been released on Soundway Records.
Flamingods, a five-piece with its roots in Bahrain and the UK, sums up what it means to make music in 2016: drawing influences from a wide array of cultures and musical genres, mixing mesmerizing percussions with obscure folkloric instruments, a hint of electronica, and band members with their homes scattered around the planet. Back in high school, where he met his soon-to-be bandmates, Kamal Rasool began making music in his room.
They moved to the UK to study, met Karthik Poduval, and officially formed Flamingods. Due to visa restrictions, Rasool was soon forced to move from the UK and made a home in Dubai. Thanks to the magic of the internet, they managed to keep on writing music together. This successful long-distance relationship birthed Hyperborea (2014), a mystical cornucopia filled with Mesoamerican imagery, african polyrhythms and high-pitched vocal jabs reminiscent of Animal Collective’s finer moments.
Directed by Elliott Arndt (aka Mango Transmission), ‘Taboo Grooves’ is the second video off Majesty (watch the first one here). Be welcome to a land of outlandish gowns and sceptres, unwind on epic cliffs, witness a hailstorm and the ritual burial of a cursed staircase! If Flamingods’ visual identity remains, the sound of Majesty finds strength in its less scattered quality. The classic drums, guitar, bass and vocals are more present than on their previous records, although still tinged with everything from Gnawa blues to Gamelan music. Altogether, it feels like they have moved on from purely experimental tunes and turned to more song-focused material.
This concept record tells the tale of a character named Yuka, starting in the morning (tracks 1-5) and ending in the evening (tracks 6-10). Majesty is gracefully penetrated by a luminous and trance-like feel and speaks of the desire to travel, of introspection, as well as the doubts and darker moments one inevitably faces in exploration. ‘Mountain’, the closing track, will give you a glimpse into the festive and joyful atmosphere you can catch during a live performance.