Iguana Post “Time Translation Symmetry” Video; Album out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

iguana

I’m not really sure what’s happening in the new Iguana video, but I sure dig it. In look and sound, “Time Translation Symmetry” sums up the spirit of the album that sort of bears its name, a classic progressive vibe playing out across mellow-but-tonally-present psychedelic rock. The animation seems to be Flash or whatever the modern digital equivalent of it is — I’m sure it’s not Flash, or if it is, Flash has been updated to the point of being unrecognizable from what my turn-of-the-century-thinking-ass thinks of when he thinks of Flash animation; Homestar Runner, Napster Bad, and so on — but the method I suppose is secondary to the work itself, which is richly colored and nuanced in the texture and of course one could very, very easily say the same thing about the song. It’s nice when things tie together like that. It doesn’t always happen.

Iguana‘s album, Translational Symmetry (review here), was released on Nov. 15 as their first outing for Tonzonen Records — it’s their third full-length overall — and it’s their most realized vision yet in terms of their particular take on progressive rock. Coming as they do from a fuzzy psych background, I think you can hear that in some of the tone on “Time Translation Symmetry,” with a bit of classic strut in there for good measure, but the melodies and the modus of the song itself are clearly reaching beyond simple microgenre confines, and like the mysterious polygon that shows up on the album’s cover and in the video as well — along with some likewise-mysterious hot-dog-in-bun-shaped alien ships — it’s multiple sides coming together to form a cohesive whole.

If you find yourself thinking that’s an awful lot of work for a four-and-a-half-minute track to do, you’re right.

Enjoy the video:

Iguana, “Time Translation Symmetry” official video

Band: Iguana
Song: Time Translation Symmetry
Album: Translational Symmetry
Label: Tonzonen Records 2019
Artwork, animation and cut by Martin Böer.
Additional artwork, animation und cut by Michael Chlebusch.
Order via Bandcamp: https://iguana.bandcamp.com/
Order via Tonzonen Records: https://www.tonzonen.de/iguana/

Iguana is:
Alexander Lörinczy | Vocals, Guitar, Synthesizer
Alexander May | Bass
Robert Meier | Drums
Thomas May | Guitar, Synthesizer

Iguana on Thee Facebooks

Iguana on Instagram

Iguana on Bandcamp

Iguana website

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Tonzonen Records on Instagram

Tonzonen Records website

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Review & Track Premiere: Iguana, Translational Symmetry

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Iguana Translational Symmetry

[Click play above to hear ‘Below the Hinterlands’ from Iguana’s Translational Symmetry. Album is out Nov. 15 on Tonzonen Records.]

A record that starts off coasting through outer space and ends up wondering amid fuzz and post-rock melo-wash why we just can’t get along, Iguana‘s Translational Symmetry is a progressive genrebender marked by high order songcraft and unrepentantly gorgeous psychedelia. The Chemnitz four-piece’s first offering for Tonzonen and third LP overall behind 2012’s Get the City Love You (review here) and 2015’s Cult of Helios (review here), it comprises nine tracks and runs 44 minutes, seeming in the process to pull influence from a host of styles, from the drifting opening semi-title-track “Time Translation Symmetry” to classic prog and space rock on “Below the Hinterlands” to the desert-tone-meets-hippie-folk-vocals of “Vessel Meerkatze” and the garage-plus-keyboard rocking shove of “Hear the Kid Out” later on.

The name of the game — and it is a game — is dynamic, and Iguana have developed it in earnest over a history that goes back at least a decade before they actually released their first album. Comprised now as they have been at least since 2012 of guitarist/vocalist/synthesist Alexander Lörinczy, guitarist/synthesist Thomas May, bassist Alexander May and drummer Robert Meier, they’ve developed a chemistry that allows them to reach further than they ever have, and though each of their long-players to this point in their tenure has offered something different, whether it was the pure desert worship of the first or the farther-afield, jammy heavy psych warmth of the second, and Translational Symmetry would seem to extend this ethic to the songs themselves.

Tracks are united through a general progressive mindset, and Lörinczy‘s layered vocals play a crucial role in uniting the material while also feeding the various atmospheres the band is working within, but the album shifts in mood and vibe on a nearly per-song basis, hitting on a central riff in “Leaving Crete” that feels like a gift given to the band by Spirit Caravan while using it to their own, broad purposes. This speaks to perhaps the greatest asset of the band’s songwriting at this stage: even when one might recognize an element or an influence in their work, Iguana take it and reshape it to suit the needs of their own work.

The difference is that between playing to style and playing with it, and Iguana are definitely doing the latter on Translational Symmetry. “Leaving Crete” resolves itself in a final hook and fare-thee-well bit of wah before “The Fish Code” takes hold with a jabbier, winding rhythm gracefully executed by the drums and bass with the guitars floating over and the synth seeming to be the current running beneath to hold it all together. Atmosphere is important to the proceedings, but not necessarily central, since the bulk of the material still has a structure underlying; even the eight-plus-minute “Rites of Passages” that opens side B in instrumentalist fashion seems to have an underlying plot, shifting between an initial thrust to dreamier Floydism in a mellower midsection before the energy level creeps back up amid a sleek groove and crash-cymbal wash, ultimately returning to the galloping motion that started off and building on it for a rousing lead that makes a fitting transition into “Hear the Kid Out,” which immediately follows.

iguana

Whether fast or slow, active or dreamy, loud or quiet, Iguana maintain both atmosphere and structure in a balance that’s fluid enough to allow them to enact some sense of a second-half-of-record branch-out, while still having already “branched” in that sense pretty far on the first half of the album. To say their sound has never been so malleable is kind of underselling it, but that’s true just the same. The truth is that Translational Symmetry is a more ambitious work than they’ve issued to-date, and it does not set a goal for itself that it leaves unmet. Those goals are an accomplishment unto itself, but essentially this is the sound of Iguana finding their identity through overcoming their influences and establishing themselves as themselves — their style as their own, to do with as they will. Plus songwriting. So yes, mark it a win.

If one looks at side A as a collection of shorter pieces, still with plenty of sonic diversity between them, from “Time Translation Symmetry” and “Below the Hinterlands” to “Vessel Meerkatze” and side B as made up of “Rites of Passages,” “Hear the Kid Out” and the closing duo of “Repeating Odd Dream” and “Spinning Top” — fascinating that the record would close with two tracks the titles of which both start with gerunds; “Leaving Crete,” earlier, is the only other — then with “Hear the Kid Out” as a relative-back-to-ground moment after “Rites of Passages,” or at least back-to-verses-and-choruses, then the album’s final movement seems to be all the more a cohesive and purposeful delve.

“Repeating Odd Dream” brings air-push fuzz and a complex rhythm, while the melodic focus of “Spinning Top” and its hook give it a spirit that draws on shoegaze but isn’t trying to pretend to sound like it doesn’t care. The synth might actually be a part of that impression, as it fills out the proceedings alongside an easy-nodding groove en route to an effects-laced finish, but really it’s everything. And that’s true of the record as a whole. Songs have their standout moments, rest assured, and those come from a flourish here, an arrangement detail there, a melody, a chorus, a verse line, a perfectly-timed tonal shift or snare pop, whatever it might be, but nothing is so prevalent as to take away from the impression of Translational Symmetry as an entirety. It is best heard as a whole album (said the guy streaming a single) in front-to-back fashion, but it stands up to the scrutiny of a deeper, track-to-track listen as well, with each song smoothly executing dynamic shifts of tempo and vibe that feed into the overarching statement.

It’s hard to pinpoint Iguana‘s trajectory, since Translational Symmetry — which seems to be  titled after what they’ve found in terms of bringing their ideas to life — takes the narrative one might’ve constructed for them after their first two records and throws it in the trash, but clearly the lesson of their third offering is that they’re able to do what they want in terms of the actual material and still make it theirs. From that starting point — from this point — they can go wherever they want.

Iguana on Thee Facebooks

Iguana on Instagram

Iguana on Bandcamp

Iguana website

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Iguana Sign to Tonzonen; Announce New Album Translational Symmetry

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

German progressive heavy rockers Iguana were last heard from with their 2015 full-length, Cult of Helios (review here), and though they’ve always been around and continued to do live shows, there hasn’t been much word of a follow-up. With the news that they’ve signed to Tonzonen Records for their next release and the announcement that said outing will be called Translational Symmetry, we come the closest we have yet to concrete evidence that, yes, such a thing exists.

And not like the footprint in the snow automatically means there’s a yeti. I mean like at some point the album will be out. As to what point, well, that’s still a little blurry on the horizon, but there’s plenty of 2019 left if it might happen then, or there’s always next year, though waiting that long would only seem to tempt the planet to open wide and swallow humanity whole before the thing is released. Which would be a bummer.

If you’d like a refresher, the Bandcamp stream of Cult of Helios is below. Here’s news from Tonzonen‘s site and the band’s social media:

iguana

IGUANA SIGNED TO TONZONEN RECORDS

I’m very happy to announce that IGUANA signed to Tonzonen Records for the new album.

We are in contact since one year and now we can start the collaboration.

More infos about the forthcoming album coming soon.

IGUANA can be found somewhere in the stylistic abyss that comprises symphonic Kraut, Stoner-beats, Nostalgic Grunge, British Invasion and Dreampop-Crooners. Rarily has Fuzz Rock sounded this diverse and experimental – at least not since the legendary Desert Sessions, which certainly struck a chord with the IGUANA boys. For a while now, they’ve been brewing up something of their own, carefully side-stepping the mainstream and any stereotypes, but dropping little pearls from the genre every now and then. And they’ve been playing with all sorts of acts (like Brant Bjork, Saint Vitus, Colour Haze, Kadavar, and Samsara Blues Experiement) at gigs and festivals, and on tours all across Europe.

Says the band: “We are happy to realize our next record ‘Translational Symmetry’ in cooperation with the Krefeld label Tonzonen. When, how and where – you’ll find out soon!”

Please welcome IGUANA.

www.iguana-music.de
www.facebook.com/iguana666
https://www.instagram.com/iguana_band/
www.soundcloud.com/iguanagermany
https://iguana.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Tonzonen/
https://www.instagram.com/tonzonenrecords/
https://www.tonzonen.de

Iguana, Cult of Helios (2015)

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