Tuesday, May 15, 2012
DRAGONTIME "s/t" (Psychic Arts) cd-r 7.98
We may have unfairly pegged local guitarist Matt Baldwin. His records are big time faves around here, gorgeous mesmerizing guitarscapes, from raga infused psychedelic folk to Fripp / Rother style cosmic guitar explorations, we sell them like crazy, and they get played all the time in the store as well, so when it came time to review a recent release on Baldwin's Psychic Arts label, we were all prepared for some blissed out guitarscapery, but instead, we got Cryptic Cross, a twisted lo-fi weirdo metal band from the East Bay, whose sound was murky and buzzy and psychedelic and sort of insane, and really about as far as you can get from Baldwin's solo records. So we were determined not to make the same mistake with this most recent Psychic Arts release, from the strangely named Dragontime, another group from Oakland, the cd featuring some cool psychedelic Rainbow Brite style paste on cover art, that definitely points to something a bit on the weird side.
And it's that artwork that maybe gives the biggest clue to what's going on here, cuz it's as far removed from the warped metal of Cryptic Cross as it is from Matt Baldwin's records. The opening track is all pulsing rhythms and synth swirls, kind of new agey, a little bit like video game music, a bit of swirly kosmische shimmer, quite cool actually, but definitely not what we were expecting, a sort of prismatic glistening rainbowscape. The second tracks adds ethereal female vox, and it's transformed into a soundtrack to some low budget fantasy film, a little 4AD, a little swoonsome shoegaze dreampop. After that the record continues to mutate and shift, from fuzzy, warbly organ minimalism, to an almost jazzy sounding lo-fi synth heavy tropical ballad, and from strange alien Asian video game folk music, all processed vox and dreamy melodies, to a murky, softly buzz shimmerscape, and from skeletal sun dappled folk pop, to droned out ominous cinematic synthscapery.
Definitely far out, and seriously super cool too, a little like a female Fastest, conjuring up her own sort of 8-bit shoegaze soundworld, that we can't seem to stop listening to...
LIMITED TO 100 COPIES, hand numbered!
That's right. Order it HERE.
at 12:23 PM