artifacts of the no-audience underground: space victim

March 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Space Victim – Psychotropic Mind Murder (Bells Hill, BH009, CD-r, edition of 50)

In the same package from Scott of Bells Hill that contained the Culver & Fordell Research Unit CD-r was nestled this monster, eyeing me suspiciously and waiting patiently for the opportunity to flex its scaly wings.

For what we have here is Space Victim, a duo of Lucy Johnson of Obey and Mike Vest of Bong and Basilica (see VISUAL VOLUME for details of all these variations).  And what Space Victim have for us is some heavy, viscous, maximalist guitar psychedelia.  Don’t be expecting anything whimsical or pastoral and flower strewn.  This is best-night-of-the-year-without-leaving-your-armchair drug music.  I suppose should you want a musical reference point then this sounds a little like millennial Ashtray Navigations, pre-synth turn, with Phil’s guitar sound at its most monsoon drenched and tropical.

The release is bookended by two lengthy jams (for want of a better word): ‘The Sea of Sleep’ (17 minutes) and ‘Entrail Weight’ (20 minutes, great title) which riff, drone, drift and shimmer in a heat haze.  Teenage dragons might groove on this in a lair filled with dope smoke as they do flame-grilled hot knives whilst sniggering at that lame-ass Lord of the Rings shit.  The tracks that make up the middle section are much shorter and offer glimpses of experiments: part mad science, part arcane rite.  Orgone accumulators crackle and the tang of ozone bleaches through the heady fug of incense.  However glimpses are all you get: sometimes these tracks end suddenly, as if the laboratory door had been slammed shut in your face.

Passages of this album are properly fried.  The psychonauts amongst you may be reminded of the ‘chameleon’ stage of an acid trip: peaking like crazy, your senses fizzing like sherbet fireworks, your skin rippling and morphing to mimic your surroundings, your eyes bulging and swivelling independently of each other.  Or so I hear.  I wouldn’t know, of course.

Over the last couple of weeks a few casual listens led to an addiction blotting out almost everything else.  Then this release became pretty much the only thing I wanted to hear.  I was hoping that typing this up might help break the spell, but I can feel its claws tightening on my shoulders again already…

Highly recommended.  Contact Scott of Bells Hill via scottjamesbellshill@gmail.com

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