LOOSERS “Sidelights” (Fuck It Tapes)

Fantastic. “Sidelights” is a beautiful, revelatory shuffle into the psychic periphery from this long-running Portuguese triad, and it’s a step into the ether away from their past audio documents. The A track was apparently recorded live on a radio show, and it unfurls with a hazy grace and soft touch not often seen/heard in previous Loosers albums. Sidewinder percussion spirals around fluttering rhythmic electronics while chimes jingle on ropes…free spiritualism soaks the microphone in Sun Ra gauze until all hard sounds cease and only the echoes of outer space resonate and pan and morph in the studio air. Things veer damn close to so-psych-it’s-goofy at a certain point, but then they pull back, and coax the majesty into quiet. “Banyan Fig,” the flip, is more easily recognizable as a Loosers chemistry, with restless “world” drumming weaving webs into ringing island steel, communal voice exercises, and dub fragments. Deep in the zone they pivot and drop the beat, replacing it with fried, wild cymbal shimmer and joyously mangled saxophone that escalates into a epiphanic frenzy before suddenly dying. Then the song’s afterlife drifts on with an odd palette of loops, murk warble, and buried pulse, like a dreaming corpse. A quiet masterpiece in the Loosers discography, no question.