The name Naum Gabo also indexes that kind of nimble polyglottery one associates with Optimo and their related side-projects. Gabo, whose fluency in multiple languages reflected a desire for precise expression, once said, "vague communication is no communication at all." Whether they're spinning Nitzer Ebb, remixing the R&S catalog or re-editing punk rock, one gets the feeling that Optimo likewise view each outing as a chance to express a particular stylistic idea. The tongue spoken on Black Lab is the kind of chugging, bricklayer psychedelic synth-rock carried out, for example, by '70s artists like Richard Pinhas and Heldon.
The A-side original has a swirling, cosmic atmosphere and blue-collar brawn that invokes images of life on an outer-space oil refinery. Expertly executed, it swerves in and out of a number of analog-synth motifs and suspenseful two-chord vamps underpinned by a stiff head-nodding bass. Of the three here, this tune is the most traditional, an ode to lost psych-prog classics. The Discosession's remix steals the show, though. It's an even-deeper cosmic voyage with added dense, shimmering thickets of filtered arpeggios and white noise, a one-man vessel drifting through the starry blue, alone—a fantastic place to start if you were looking to score your 2009 remake of Carl Sagan's Cosmos. Closer "Mule Tk2" is a more-up-tempo burst of breezy Italo cosmic grooves, a kind of effervescent digestif after two tracks of rather hearty fare.