Bardo Pond – Volume 8

bardo8

Initially, we built a wall. It started off as a small wall, then it became a big wall and a thick wall and a wide wall and then people wondered whether or not we could build a wall that we couldn‟t climb or scale in any way, but we left that worry to the worriers.

One thing we did concern ourselves with, though, was just how boring the wall looked, so we started to decorate it (in practice, little people had been putting their little illustrations on already, many of them denigrative of the wall). So we split the wall up and sold off squares of it, and those squares were duly decorated with whatever the owners of those squares wished, plus that which appeared spontaneously, often in reaction.

But it was becoming apparent that the wall was costing a lot to maintain, so we started importing the bricks from south east Asia, as we had people over there, and they were able to manipulate things so that it actually became cheaper for us in purely monetary cost considerations (are there any other cons iderations to consider?) to import the bricks from Chinesia. This held for a while, and the wall grew ever higher, and its decorations became so elaborate that many observers didn‟t even realise there was a wall behind the pictures.

Soon, the pictures were all that remained in the popular memory, so we saw that as an opportunity to sell some of the more expensive bricks, as the projectors maintaining the illusions were of such high quality that they could project their nothing onto nothing itself. So we con tinued selling our bricks, slowly at first, and then more rapidly as they became more sought after, and the by now moving pictures reassured everybody that everything was fine and normal and the wall is as indomitable as ever.

But, in practice, the wall had completely gone, and the profits from the sale were draining away on keeping the projectors fed for the image parade, because, without those images, the people would realise what we had been up to, and we couldn’t let that happen, oh no, not at all.

So we made the images brighter and louder, repeating only the most successful images, and in the meantime, cast about for some new bricks

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Mt. Mountain – Dust

mtmtComing from the same band naming tradition as Mr Mister, Aussie band Mt. Mountain bring you a far more palatable laid back groove.

Dust is four tracks of fairly mellow psych-desert sounds, with one explosive exception around 11 minutes into the opening title track, itself an epic 17 minutes long and clearly the centre-piece and foundation of the album. The build-up is one of my favourite musical things, the pulse and the groove are really good. It’s laid back, but not in a sleepy way – you can definitely feel the impending climax. It actually reminds me a bit of certain 90s Goa-style sounds at their more ambient end. Before the guitars kick in, anyway.

The most obvious reference point to these ears is The Myrrors, so if you like them, do check these out.

Oneida – Positions

So I mentioned a while back that Oneida walk amongst the Gods when it comes to music (at least in my universe, which I can categorically state is not flat), and they’ve gone and released another thing to confirm what I’ve said. This makes a nice change on artists who I go nuts over subsequently releasing something which is far less exciting. I shall not mention names cos that’s not what I do.

positionscoverApparently, two of these tunes are covers of tunes by This Heat, who rumour has it are some kind of legends. To my shame and eternal un-coolness, I have never investigated them.

The three tracks on this release are all pretty different. Opener ‘S.P.Q.R.’ reminds me in style of their classic album Rated O; ‘Under whose sword’ is a much more ambient affair, and closer ‘All data lost’ morphs from squall-tastic free jazz mayhem at the start (very similar to the afore-linked recent People of the North album) into out and out krautrock of the most legendary variety.

Whether this classes as an album or an EP is not for me to say; I’m beginning to think such distinctions are unimportant. A release is a release, and as long as the work is appropriate to the artists intention then its existence is justified.

(Their website is normally here, but not displaying today for some reason. I’ll leave this link though in the hope that the problem is temporary)

Thee Open Sex

What do you mean, you’ve never heard of Thee Open Sex?

There are more releases than just the two I’ve linked, but they are far and away my favourite.

‘Thee Open Sex’ sounds musically like a meshing, no bleshing, of Jesus and Mary Chain, Velvet Underground, Spaceman 3, that sort of yadda. Don’t let that put you off. This is pure psychedelic rock’n’roll. Every part is perfect – the shamanic vocals, the guitar interplay (and wonderful wah sound), the tight-but-loose rhythm section, the hypnotic, pulsating, repetitive, droning rhythms… I could go on all day. I won’t. Go and have a listen.

‘Thee Open Sex is not a Put On’ is equally wonderful, but in an entirely different way. Two songs, both over twenty minutes (making it longer than ‘Thee Open Sex’) and both starting off as essentially the same damn piece. I reckon they went into a rehearsal room one day and simply pressed record whilst warming up. They called that piece ‘9/11 is a Joke.’ Afterwards, Daun Door-key (which is how the singer is listed, so it must be her true name) said ‘do that again, I’m going to join in this time,’ so they did. They called that piece ‘Santa Amanita.’

Regardless, they are wonderful compositions. In fact, the level on songcraft on both releases is astonishing. There isn’t an ounce of fat, of waste. Nothing is superfluous.

I had intended to find out a bit about them, but there doesn’t seem to be much to find out. As it happens, I think it’s better to not go looking for the biography, unless you yourself are interested enough, and you have a browser and a new tab, and off you go. The music speaks for itself.