A fascinating split release from Fat Cat which couples together two acts from different continents, both of whom base their sound around percussion, vocals and lengthy improvised arrangements. Foot Village are from Los Angeles and have described themselves as “the loudest acoustic rock band ever”. That’s a difficult claim to prove, but it is true that this 12” sounds better at a high volume. The four members of Foot Village are veterans of other bands from LA’s experimental DIY scene and they consider their instrumentation to be post-apocalyptic and primal, deliberately refusing amplification and using just their own rhythms and voices.

They fill their side of this 12” with a single piece called 'Let Bebongs Be Bebongs, Idiot' and whatever you might think about their conceptual claims, there’s no doubt that this is a compelling piece of music which transcends their simple instrumentation. The time changes and level of intensity constantly shift throughout its epic 16 minute duration. The band describe this piece as "about being young and listening to records in the middle of the night with your friends; the type of experience that creates ineffable bonds of friendship while on psychic journeys."

Cymbal swirls give way to some intense drumming action – think improvised jazz with the kit hit hard – before the steady beats emerge after about four or five minutes. Then it changes tack and they could almost be a post-hardcore band with some in-your–face vocals. The male vocal is actually reminiscent of Jello Biafra or the Nation of Ulysses, by turns both celebratory and angry. The only concession to amplification is the use of a megaphone to distort the voice during the punky- angsty section. This movement climaxes with the male and female voices bashing out the refrain “we just want to party”, confounding the listener’s expectation that this is going to just be a noisy improvised jam. There’s yet another twist as the calm returns with those cymbal washes, before the rhythm builds up again and goes into a massed voices chorus, ending with a vocal loop which concludes with "fuck that complicated shit".

This is a cathartic, rites of passage song, an attempt to recreate feeling all edgy and dangerous whilst using the most basic instrumentation. It could have gone wrong, but it’s clear that the performers involved have considerable talent to keep your attention through its epic duration.

On the flip-side, Super Khoumeissa are from northern Mali near the border with Niger and base their sound around traditional instruments, but although both bands are obviously different they have so much in common. They have been active as a group since 1990, though amazingly this is their first proper release. They have been brought to a wider audience by Animal Collective who chanced across them at the Festival Du Desert in Mali a few years ago and invited them to play at this year’s May ATP. Like some of early Animal Collective and indeed Foot Village, their sound is based around the interplay between voices and rhythms, but it also shifts and changes, becoming trance-like and taking the listener elsewhere over the course of the piece.

Whereas Foot Village have four drummers, these guys have three calabasse - the percussion instrument made out of a hollowed gourd, upturned, placed on the ground and slapped with the hands. The rhythm players are accompanied by two string players using a ngoni, a three-stringed instrument which here is amplified to the point of distortion. Again they sound primal, their sound is rough and edgy and basic.  On all three tracks here, the vocalist is left in the distance and almost drowned by the percussive trance.  This music sounds ancient and other-worldly. If Foot Village imagine themselves as a post-apocalyptic act with the conceits of modern civilisation removed, then Super Khoumeissa are almost pre-modern, the slight amplification on their strings is the only nod to the world of technology.

It’s intriguing that these two groups come from such disparate cultures, yet they have ended up creating music so similar. Throughout these tracks there is a sense of rebellion and changing traditions, but also there is the suggestion of trance within the music, of feeling ecstatic from the force of percussion and the raw expression within the human voice.