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Wednesday 30 August 2023

Keep The Mystique

The Secret Soul Society operate out of South Wales, the name for the music of Cal Gibson. Cal relocated to South Wales from Nottingham after spending much of the 2000s making music as half of Neon Heights. He picked up and plugged back in after some time away from music and now has a new album out on Hell Yeah!. Keep The Mystique is fifteen tracks long exploring a variety of styles and sounds, each track a contrast to the one that came before it. There's an off kilter nature to The Secret Soul Society, a wonky, psychedelic edge to the songs, music that draws from dub, house, jazz, soul, reggae, Afro- funk and various points in between. There are snippets of songs/ samples/ sounds dropped in and out that give the album a kaleidoscopic quality; there's always something always going on on the edges that makes the ears prick up. 

Keep The Mystique opens with a smooth one- two, the songs Cards On The Table and The Island gliding by. Third track Searching steps things up a gear, a slightly faster pace and dubby bassline pushing on, while a guitar twangs away and a voice repeats the line, 'I've been searching for you everywhere'. 

The second half of the album has a run of songs that struck chords with me, songs that are trippy, wigged out fun. Freak Scene (not a cover of the Dinosaur Jr song of the same name) is bouncy and percussive, equal parts tropical dance music and dubby house.

Whoop Whoop is a joy, several minutes of loopy, cosmic Balearica, a lighter than air feeling bottled and played over a driving two note synthbass, with splashes, whooshes and other found sound exotica dropped in and out. 

Bang The Bongo is bongos (obvs), rattling rhythms and hand drums joined by synths, keys and chanting. Keep The Mystique can be bought and listened to at Bandcamp