Belgium (Promotor) Steven Thomassen
There is no direct association between mysterious Swedish psychedelicistsGOATand revered Argentinian master of magical realism, Jorge Luis Borges. Yet theirmission appears to be the same. Borges generated his ideas from historicalcuriosities across the globe—gaucho knife duels on the South American plains,Middle Eastern heresiarchs plotting treacheries in secret libraries, Chinese pirateswaging wars against the Emperor—and twisted them into fictions that blurred thelines between fortified footnotes and outright fantasy. GOAT’s sound is the sonicmanifestation of this principle, aswasevidenced in their aptly-named debut albumWorld Music, which incorporated elements of Nigerian afrobeat, German krautrock,Anatolian funk, and a host of other global micro-niches into a hallucinatory cultishcelebration of rock’s diverse manifestations. Deprived of the requisite bandbiography, early experiencers World Musicandsubsequentalbum’s Commune andRequiemelectrified tribalism and lysergic compositions had the inevitable questionsregarding the origin and timeframe of the recordings. The truth only became knottierevery time the elusive GOAT collective provided their cryptic answers.
The individual identities involved with thebands three albumsremainshrouded inmystery: GOAT spokespersons maintain that the group is merely an ongoing multi-generational collective of musicians from the isolated Swedish locality ofKorpilombolo. Located north of the Arctic Circle, the town is a junction of native Samipeople, Scandinavian settlers, and the rare infiltration of wayfaring outsiders.GOAT’s recorded output is a fermentation of the region’s traditional songs, which area conglomerate of outside influences culled over the course of the last century.Beyond that, GOAT is willing to divulge very little. The secrecy of the individualmembers and the dearth of information on Korpilombolo do little to substantiate orrefute GOAT’s claims. It’s almost as if GOAT are taking cues from Borges’ shortstory “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius”, wherein a clandestine enclave of intellectualsattempt to create a new reality by inserting articles on a fictitious foregone state andits puzzling culture into modernencyclopaedias. Borges’ secret society wanted theirheretical ideologies to infiltrate common thought through an invented past; GOATwants to revitalize the communal experience of rock music by creating an alternateorigin story.
Ultimately, it is GOAT’s music that speaks the most about them,theirheavy dosesofacidic grooves, hypnotic incantations, and serpentine guitar linesexplorenewandunchartedterritories. Theband asserts that their soundseeks a universal spirituality.“GOAT is mainly a symbol of sacrifice. To sacrifice the individual for the collectivegood. To become one with the rest of humanity and universe,”said one unnamedGOAT co-conspirator in a rare piece of correspondence.“We often talk about how all music is world music and all other genres are oldfashioned,” the collective member continued. “All you can hear is the universalsimilarity between all music. The music from some old cult in northern Sweden canbe the same as the music from wherever.”And with that philosophy, GOAThavepropagatedtheir crossbred music and mysticismthrough their music–their threealbums(World Music, Commune, Requiem), and recent singles compilation Headsoupwere all released via the UK record label ROCKET RECORDINGS
(Commune and Requiem also released by SUB POPin USA), andtheirtouringofthe globe relentlesslysince the release of ‘World Music’in2012. And while we’llnever see GOAT’s faceson the cover of a glossy magazine, their intoxicatingconjurations are poised to infiltrate our collective psyche with the subversive magicalallure of a Borgesian fable