Billing themselves as extraterrestrial, intergalactic ravers, Henge have been entertaining earthly audiences for a while in their wild, sci-fi themed rave night Space Cassette along with Age of Glass. Appearing at festivals like as Womad, Boomtown, Bestival and Fusion, they also curate a Space Cassette takeover at Bluedot festival each year. Henge merge elements of electronic dance music, Prog rock and, psychedelia into a genre they call Cosmic Dross. Releasing the Cosmic Dross EP in July of last year on Love Love Records. The five track EP of electronic madness was so unique and captivating, it firmly cemented their reputation with the alternative festival community. Demand for their lively, colorful shows has increased amongst more family-oriented festivals. With Henge hosting packed out matinee shows for their younger fans.
Released to the earth on October 19th, first full-length record Attention Earth starts off with the more terrestrial sound of Kalimba. Currently using Manchester as their earth base, these celestial beings are obviously skilled at adapting to both language and culture. The vocal chant in the disarmament call-to-arms Demilitarise is as Manc as any baggy record you’ve heard. This nine-minute epic then drifts into a brightly colored techno rave, with synths splashing in every direction around a chorus of handclaps. It’s like a Si-Fi Stone Roses kicking off an intergalactic Second Coming. It’s bright, it’s infectious, it’s not even finished playing out and I immediately want to see Henge live.
You’re then bounced into the techno ode In Praise of Water. It’s another instant earworm that’s rounded off with a good old-fashioned Prog-Rock keyboard solo. Henge then take it down a notch or two for the souled out Indigo Dust. Their leader ZPOR enlightening us:
“Indigo Dust is about the thrill of making art; the rush you feel when inspiration has you in its grip!”
It’s Attention Earth’s laidback interstellar Marvin Gaye moment with a great double time chorus and a Theremin solo that Gold Star studios would be proud of. Machine Landscape starts with a Lee Hazlewood style country whistle. Which soon shifts shape to an organ waltzed warning from a far away world.
The perfect tri-point of techno, death metal and hip-hop that I didn’t know I needed is provided by Monolith. If you have a fever, the only prescription is more cowbell from this track’s expansive middle eight. Early Floyd style meditation Moon sees synths spiral and soar over a crashing beat before leading you down a Technicolor sonic vortex.
Henge pay homage to the spacecraft that transported them across time and space to the Milky Way on Mushroom One. Into this throbbing dub beat and Coventry vocal is fused a Morriconi style tremolo guitar and UK grime guidance for the human race, that ends Attention Earth.
This first full length offering of comic dross by Henge is fun, bright, and catchy but also well put together. Putting a sonic face to the name of their Space Cassette nights. They are a night now firmly on my bucket list after hearing Attention Earth. Its melodies and hooks will burrow deep into your brain and have you long repeating its cosmic mantras.
“Where were you the day Henge landed?”
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