Best Song Ever (This Week): The Heliocentrics' "Wrecking Ball"
by Dave Segal
on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 2:32 PM
The Heliocentrics are a British group who alchemize many of the most interesting tropes—funk, psychedelia, library music, spy-flick jazz, Ethiopiques, BBC Radiophonic Workshop—into imaginary soundtracks for impossible movies playing in Saturn’s finest cineplexes. Their forthcoming album 13 Degrees of Reality (out April 30 on Now-Again), is another third-ear-toasting chapter in the Heliocentrics’ saga of sonic sorcery.
The highlight in a work full of them is “Wrecking Ball.” It begins with what sounds like a very warped didgeridoo that warbles with frightful ominousness. Soon a subliminal groove not unlike that purveyed by Primal Scream in “Trainspotting” (from the Trainspotting OST; check it and the film) kicks in, with clackety metallic percussion and a distant, distorted guitar soloing a variation on Hendrix’s “Third Stone From the Sun.” The main motif, though, comes via an instrument that sounds like it may have been scrapped by Harry Partch for being too strange—perhaps a harp made out of radioactive porcupine quills. The overall vibe is swamp dub crossed with Plutonian psychedelia. Rewind, selectah!