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Flamingods’ art is rooted in a love for the spaces between cultures. They’re cross-cultural magpies, absorbing styles and instruments from the world over into their mesmerising sound. Originally started as a solo bedroom project for main vocalist Kamal Rasool, they became a multi-headed musical force following an eight hour impromptu jam session at the Animal Collective curated ATP Festival in 2010. Since that moment of conception, Flamingods has operated at the nether regions of the creative process. Their brazenly rootless and cosmopolitan approach, which voraciously consumes dance, psych and folk from across the planet and reconstructs it into beguiling psychedelic wig-outs, comes at a crucial time in our global culture.
With electrifying melodies and immersive production it comes on like a wave of lysergic euphoria. Doffing its hat to the monolithic bass grooves of the late sixties, it culminates with a mammoth braying guitar solo. Like the rest of the EP which bears its name, ‘Kewali’ is the result of Flamingods coming off the road having learnt the secret musical alchemy that turns an audience from a bunch of onlookers into a unitary hive mind, together floating on the same feeling.
Flamingods are a step forward at a time when the world seems bent on looking backwards. Feeding on the interplay between different cultures and ideas, their freeform mentality calls to mind dazzling experiments like kosmische musik or free jazz, but in their encyclopaedic multicultural compositions they stand as wholly unique. As the future gets more uncertain, we may want to look outwards, towards a kaleidoscopic confluence of ideas outside of our own cultures. Flamingods may physically be a musical group, but conceptually they’re the product of an idea. An incredibly hopeful and beautiful one at that.