Todays sees the release of The Ladder, the new album from South African progressive instrumental trinity Albinobeach. This is the bands second second full-length release after the improvisational, ensemble-driven Cacophonic (2015). Writing and recording for the album began in 2015-16, with the band’s founding members Ian Finch (guitars), Kalin Pashaliev (bass guitar) and Garrick Van Der Tuin (drums and sound design) tracking and mixing eight distinct songs at Playsound Studio in Johannesburg.
The Ladder also marks the South African instrumental band’s return to a power-trio configuration, which lent itself to heavier compositions and a more daring sonic approach. The album employs a fusion of musical influences and their respective production techniques, including progressive metal, psychedelic rock, and electronica, among others.
In the title track, albinobeach plays with the idea of cycles or seasons: beginnings and endings that possess their own degree of intensity in the construction and dynamic narrative of the composition. The eight-minute track meanders through subtle verses and screaming choruses to arrive at an improvised apex laden with distorted synths and effected guitars.
The track accompanies the concept of ‘the ladder’, which the members of albinobeach envisioned during the making of the album, beginning with an image of a metaphysical pathway leading to an awakening and ultimately rebirth. This is also illustrated by the album’s cover art: a cosmic journey to an energy source that both decimates and invigorates the traveller.
It is with this contrast in mind that albinobeach wrote and recorded the music for the nine-track collection. Stylistically, the band experimented with long-form compositions (‘The Ladder’, ‘Hiraeth’, ‘Reno’ and ‘Triptych’), which take their time to explore the potential of the musical movements at play, as well as snappier songs like ‘Somersault’, ‘Afro Bogart’, ‘Jugga and ‘Make the Call’. The marriage of these compositional styles, together with creative production techniques, makes for an album that the members of albinobeach believe to be the most complete in the band’s history.
The Ladder is available now on Bandcamp all digital other digital streaming platforms.
Albinobeach was formed in 2005 by Ian Finch (guitars), Kalin Pashaliev (bass guitar), Garrick Van Der Tuin (drums and sound design) and Francois Du Preez (vocals and guitar), who exited the band soon after. In 2007, the trio released their self-titled debut EP on North Carolina independent label Forgotten Empire Records. The EP garnered a positive response from the instrumental-rock listening public, particularly in Italy and Russia. The band has played across southern Africa, including two performances at the coveted South African festival Oppikoppi.
The Ladder credits
Produced by albinobeach
Recorded and mixed by Garrick Van Der Tuin at Playsound
Mastered by Gavan Eckhart at Soulfire Studios
Artwork by Ian Finch