Monggrel shows true love for his surroundings on the powerful industrial-dub fusions of “Ceremonies”. The genre-hopping and blending results in a hypnotic trance-like state, for the elements of field recordings that filter into the entire album gives the sound a sense of place. By incorporating such a wide swath of styles into the mix framed within a lo-fi context the album has a heady atmosphere for it swirls about in a dreamy aura. Without needing to say a single word a whole journey unfurls over the course of the album, with each track yet another suite in an ever-expanding symphony.
Defying the trendy Monggrel embraces a timelessness with his album. The beats have a classic flair to them. Usage of noise punctuating the trance-like rhythms recalls the otherworldly transmissions of Zoviet France. With a keen DIY ethos that taps into Bourbonese Qualk’s anything goes the pieces have a certain defiance air to them, for the way the songs shift their focus from the real to the imagined at times has a hallucinatory quality. Usage of a physicality with some real heavy dub basslines added in for good measure make the whole of the album gain a unique poignancy, as do the unnamed voices that filter through the din.
Eerie noises open the album with the genuinely creepy “Blue Room”. It seems to be kept in a constant state of suspense for it is purely about the texture, no beats needed. “Dhobi Ghat” serves as the flipside to “Blue Room” for beats feature front and center, with everything else offering up only fleeting glimpses. The groove becomes fully established on the elastic sounds of “Dhakma”. Lilting melodies waft in and out of focus on the hazy “Auspicious Offerings” by far the highlight of the album. Here Monggrel stretches out creating a truly heavy rhythm, one that threatens to crush everything in its path. Cleverly distorted samples and field recordings blend into one on the intense “Hindustani Breakfast”. Horns alongside spirited chants lend the aptly named “Godmen (Wild Parrot ver.)” a unique mysticism.
Silence becomes an ally on the fury of “Snakeman Traffic” where the drums hit hard deep into the red. Rather nimble “Hindustani Lunch” opts for a more cinematic approach, with the sudden sweeping gestures adding to the sonic drama. Heavy dollops of noises intermingle with the woven together keyboards of “Godmen (5 Rupee ver.)”. Echoing out to the infinite is the massive scope of “Elefanta Stair Stepper” where the inclusion of the melodica further confirms the psychedelic dub experience. Glitch effects work wonders on the finale of the jumpy “108”.
“Ceremonies” shows off Monggrel’s uncanny ability to recreate and explore an entire geography using only sound.