Release Date: May 17, 2019
Record label: The Leaf Label
German outfit Niagara's '70s debut remains a collector's favourite from the leftfield of the Krautrock era. More recently, the pummelling grooves of Nihiloxica (off the esteemed Nyege Nyege Tapes roster) have provided proof that percussion doesn't necessarily need accompaniments to allure. Beyond that, the vintage Grateful Dead-related gag about the drum solo providing a window for escape before the bass solo starts demonstrates the general consensus on drums as a lead instrument.
A solo album by an improvisational drummer would in most circumstances elicit a wary groan, but Australia's Laurence Pike is no ordinary percussionist. He's played with a miscellany of jazzers (notably pianist Mike Nock), and embraced genres from psych to electronica to spiritual jazz. Nonetheless, his 2018 debut, Distant Early Warning, was a surprise, blending Pike's rhythmic skills with sounds culled from a drumpad sampler to create an uber-ambient suite, part acoustic, part electronic.