Colours Out of Space by Pixie NinjaRelease date: July 3, 2020
Label: Apollon Records
It’s been three years since Pixie Ninja had released a new album after the release of their 2017 debut, Ultrasound. And now, during these challenging and tricky times that we’re facing, music will always lift our spirits up. That and Pixie Ninja’s latest release this year entitled, Colours Out of Space, showcases the band’s heavier approach and their most challenging.
Performed at Nobø Studios in Rognan, Norway and some additional recordings at Mattias Olsson’s studio outside of Stockholm, Roth Handle Studios, Colours Out of Space tackles some of the short stories written by not just the godfather of horror fiction, but one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century, H.P. Lovecraft. For Pixie Ninja to create music for the stories from Lovecraft’s vision, it must be very tricky.
And to be allowed to use instruments that include the Orchestron, Maestrovox, Fender Rhodes, and the Mellotron, it is very interesting to see what Pixie Ninja have come up with next. As if the sounds of the Cthulhu has risen from the grave to raise hell once more. The music itself isn’t just your typical progressive rock album, but it’s surreal, nightmarish, insanity, avant-garde, doomy, and right in your face.
The opening title-track starts things off with a lullaby piano introduction before it transforms into a spooky realm of the Moog for the terror to rise underneath the earth’s atmosphere as the vocals come in, followed by a Morse code. Suddenly, mass chaos ascends for the keyboards to delve into the stories that is brought to life. Almost like a movie inside your head. Pixie Ninja can make you walk into those uncharted waters with some of the haywiring effects into some trippy electronic crunch as it delves into ‘Leng Plateau’. The band channel the visionary sounds of Trent Reznor by upping the scale a notch with some industrial grooves that can make your skin crawl.
With ‘CosmiK’ the band are channeling two films that might have a huge impact on them; Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Alex Proyas’ The Crow. It’s very much like someone coming in out of the blue and punching you in the stomach unexpectedly. When the drums, bass, and keyboards come at you, it is this whirlpool of terror with ramming speed. On ‘Hutchinson Cipher’, the nightmare continues as if some sliding effects on the guitar along with some walking bass lines delve deeper into the ocean of the Ummagumma-era of Pink Floyd. At first, you think the piece is almost over, but then it rises up for darker passageways with some crescendos and tidal wave destruction that the band creates.
The second half however, this is where Pixie Ninja goes batshit crazy! You have more of the chaotic effects continuing that are more and more mind-blowing as they walk into the Larks Tongues’ in Aspic-era of King Crimson. The last two minutes sees the band go in an 8-bit format for a brief moment before heading into the unknown. The closing track ‘Strange Days’ channels the textures between Goblin and Fabio Frizzi as if they alternated their own score for Lucio Fulci’s 1980 horror classic, The Beyond. And then at the end, Mellotron’s galore! Pixie Ninja’s Colours Out of Space as I’ve mentioned earlier, was a big challenge. And my ears, they went up for their challenge once more to see what the Apollon label had in store for them.
Was it worth the wait? Hell to the yes! They brought everything to the kitchen table and it took me a while to listen to the album again, and again, and again. And I welcomed their second album to see what Pixie Ninja had unleashed for 2020. I hope they continue to be more challenging in the roaring ‘20s. What will they think of next? Who knows? You never know what Pixie Ninja will have in store for us.