It’s fitting that Dan’s synth elements should leave the biggest impression on us, given how ‘Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam’ feels like The Comet’s most electronic album yet. Recorded in much the same way as previous efforts, the tracks are a mix of studio compositions and live jams with varying levels of post- production by Dan and Max. “We do overdubs and we restructure things and kind of accentuate things that happen naturally and make them more dramatic,” Max says of the latter part. “Me and Dan are kind of mixing, but also adding little bits, trying things back to front, seeing how things work together. Sometimes we end up going, ‘Wow, we’ve really transformed this, we’ve restructured this so much it’s basically a new tune’, and then other times it really is more natural jam sessions that retain their basic structure, which is more spontaneous.”
The album is still as sonically psychedelic and jazzy as previous efforts, but the overall picture painted by ‘Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam’ leans more towards dance music than ever before. It’s not necessarily a view the band takes, or a direction that was intentional — they’re just doing their thing, and having all been influenced by electronic music over the years “it’s just part of how we understand musical structures,” says Max. But with the funky dance groove of lead single ‘CODE’, sleek Magnetic Man-esque wobble of ‘PYRAMIDS’ and relentlessly propulsive ‘ATOMIC WAVE DANCE’, it’s hard to ignore from a listener’s perspective.
“We don’t plan to do it, ‘cause a lot of our music just comes from playing together and trancing out and then seeing what happens,” explains Max. This ‘trancing out’ comes into its own on stage. The band uses various techniques — rituals to create a “collective routine” and get into the right headspace before playing. One is the famous Wim Hof breathing technique, a kind of hyperventilating used to pump extra oxygen around the body; “It gives you quite a particular vibe in your head where you’re kind of very relaxed and focused, but also energised, and your body feels oxygenated.”