Though the influence of Detroit musically still reverberates the world over, the Portuguese capital of Lisbon isn't high on the list of places that you'd twin with the Motown, punk and techno-pioneering former American industrial powerhouse. To listen to II though, the new album on New York label Golf Channel Recordings by Portuguese collective Gala Drop, is to unearth a spiritual link across the Atlantic hitherto undiscovered. Their first full-length record in six years, and their first release since 2012's Pitchfork-lauded Broda 12' - a split with Ben Chasny from former tour mates Six Organs of Admittance -- sees the four-piece join forces with Detroit ex-pat Jerry The Cat, to pull together the variant strands of Motor City's aural lineage with the more off the cuff Balearic-flecked grooves of their native Lisbon in a hypnotic melting pot of sound.
To fit The Cat's long and varied career into a couple of sentences doesn't do justice to a man who's quietly been working behind the scenes with some of the most notable musicians and producers through history. From percussion work with Parliament and Funkadelic, to performing live with John Lee Hooker, his involvement in the great rise of black music through the mid-to-late 20th century cannot be understated. Then there's his work within the dance community, with releases on Sound Signature and collaborations with the likes of fellow Detroit artist Derrick May, techno game changer Theo Parrish and his 3 Chairs collaborator Moodymann, to name just a few.
It's that eclecticism that's allowed the group freedom to be similarly unhemmed. Their music takes on the bustling heat of the streets of Lisbon but, like the city itself, feeling within touching distance of the open seas and panoramic scenery beyond. A song like 'Sun Gun' is a perfect example, built around intricate bass lines and restless drumming that eventually stretches out into the distance as the track races along, each little inflection and echo of other places and cultures, only ever fleeting as Gala Drop skip through their alluringly idiosyncratic world.