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Ride The “Rollercoaster” With Blind Idiot God

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If you didn’t know better, you might assume that Blind Idiot God were drunk on “Rollercoaster.” The instrumental trio treats tempo like a liquid on the song. They slide up and down metronome markings, following the push and pull of drummer Ted Epstein, who himself is marching to the beat of some oblong ball rolling across a skating ramp. Guitarist Andy Hawkins adds to the woozy feeling by pilling on the chorus. Every note clashes against its artificial counterpart inside of his dense, jazz-influenced chords. The only thing that’s constant is change.

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This is where Blind Idiot God’s jazz sensibilities truly reveal themselves. Instead of soloing of a chord progression, the group are improvising against a rhythmic structure. The fluctuations in tempo are the tempo. You can count on the song speeding up and slowing down, but each time around the loop is unique. Where the three musicians lock up, how fast they accelerate, and which notes they land on are all up for grabs at any given time.
“Rollercoaster” is taken from Undertow, an album the group released in 1989 and reissued via Hawkins’ Indivisible Music label last year. The rest album is no less out there. Disorienting experimental rock is Blind Idiot God’s preferred mode, but they also take long detours into dub music with just as much success. Unlike most bands that reference Lovecraft’s work in their aesthetics (their name is a reference to Azathoth, the unseeing moronic deity that sits at the center of Lovecraft’s universe), Blind Idiot God aren’t interested in making you feel cosmic terror or depicting the Great Old Ones in action. Instead, they are the prophets who walk away from the edge of sanity alive, but most assuredly not intact, raving in a language and logic that only they can understand.

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