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...
Making records is no joke. Can you tell how hard we've been working? Well, it's about to start paying dividends (although figurative). Kephera - my collaboratrix on Night In The Triangle - has a band called Dragontime and their debut on Psychic Arts will be out this Friday thru Aquarius Records. The review will be posted here as soon as it's ready.
The new MB/Nico collaboration is still being mixed and is taking longer than we thought. We did a bunch of work and then came back to find that everything had shifted inexplicably. A ghost in the machine? Adam Snider's debut full-length record is next in the queue and after that I'm preparing something that I'm tentatively calling The Psychic Arts Sampler.
In the meantime Nico and I have decided to make Year of The Dog available as a free download for a little while. Just to whet your appetite for the new one. Get it now or hold your peace until it shows up on vinyl.