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VIBRACATHEDRAL ORCHESTRA - The Secret Base

Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: VHF Records VHF120
Release Year: 2009
Note: one of three new LP released simultaneously by the "ecstatic drone" cult project from UK !! Lim. ed., act fast if interested!!
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €16.00


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"The ever-mysterious Vibracathedral Orchestra returns from another relatively quiet period with an uncompromising set of outre jams on a trio of limited-edition LPs. Slightly reorganized around a line-up of stalwarts Mick Flower and Adam Davenport with frequent collaborators John Godbert (Total) and John Moloney (Sunburned Hand of the Man), the band here stretches way, way out over these six sides. The Secret Base starts up at full throttle, straight into a raw-sounding live outing, with Flower's overdriven guitar occupying the same sonic space that gives his Japan banjo / shaahi baaja workouts with Chris Corsano their urgency. The sound is dark and rough, almost Xpressway-like in its claustrophobic atmosphere. The percolating krautrock stylings of "If You Can't Smoke 'Em" chugs along hypnotically for over 13 minutes to close out the side. The entire B-side's 20+ minutes are devoted to the clanging free sound of "Eyes of Wood," where gamelan-like metal percussion dominates the proceedings." [label info]

www.vhfrecords.com

"It's been a while since we've heard from UK ur-drone spacelords
Vibracathedral Orchestra, founder Neil Campbell took off on his own a
while back, and now kicks up a ruckus as Astral Social Club, but the
Orchestra is still going strong, fronted by long time members Mick
Flower and Adam Davenport, who for this new set of THREE (!!) full
length releases, is joined by John Moloney of Sunburned Hand Of The
Man and the mighty John Godbert of the legendary Total.
Each of the three, Joka Baya, The Secret Base and Smoke Song,
function on their own as fully formed proper albums, but the three
also seem to fit together into one expansive whole, a sweeping
sprawling songsuite, that seems to drift from one lp to the next, and
in fact, although we didn't try it, we imagine you could probably play
these records simultaneously in various combinations and the results
would be even trippier.
Needless to say, most folks will most likely want all three,
but no harm done in starting with one, and then grabbing the others
later, unless they sell out that is, which seems very likely
considering that these are quite limited.
Up first is Joka Baya (in the black cover) beginning with a bit
of African drumming, which gives way to some gorgeously glimmering and
glistening prismatic dronemusic, swirling effects, all dreamlike and
bleary eyed, with what sounds like birdsong mixed into the chiming
notes and extended tones. The record shifts gears after that into
something much heavier and more blown out, a full on psychedelic post
Hawkwind spacejam, a heavy krautrock rhythm beneath a flurry of
tangled psych guitars. The African drums return briefly before the
band lock into a throbbing processed minimal looped dronescape, murky
and washed out, dark and hypnotic.
The flipside is a single side long epic, a slow burning cloud
of processed guitars, cymbal shimmer, glitched out FX, building to a
pounding psychedelic crescendo before slipping into a propulsive muted
buzzdrone raga outro.
The second lp is called The Secret Base (in the white and red
cover) and begins immediately with a total Spacemen 3 / Loop styled
drug rock jam, repetitive, mesmerizing, super hypnotic, the guitars
smoldering and incendiary. The next track is an Eastern tinged
spacekraut groove, strangely Southern sounding as well, a bit twang
flecked, a little dubby even, melodic, and major key and surprisingly
playful. Like the first record, The Secret Base also fills its second
side with a single extended track, this time, it's all clattery and
ritualistic and tribal, shakers, bells, hand drums, moaned and chanted
vocals, very reminiscent of Avarus, NNCK, Sunburned Hand, eventually
the sound locks into a skeletal groove, hypnotic and propulsive, but
still abstract and way loose.
Finally, the third art in the trilogy, Smoke Song (in the
Orange cover), which begins with a sprawling bit of Clattery, twangy
tribal free drift, fluttery flutes, lots of percussion, a sort of wild
and wooly drum circle, laced with woodwinds and swirling effects,
before slipping into a muted spacey jam, all subtle drumming, wheezing
chords, little bits of guitar jangle, warm whirring keyboards, druggy,
psychedelic, and just a bit Doors-y (or Wooden Shjips-y, for a more
contemporary reference).
Smoke Song too offers up a side long closer, this one ending
the whole trilogy, and it's a doozy, full on droned out drug rock,
cyclical, mesmerizing, sitar-like buzz wrapped around a simple, but
pounding motorik beat, while all around it a swirling cloud of hiss
and buzz and shimmer.
Needless to say, all three are recommended, and again, not sure
how limited these are, or how long they'll be around..." [Aquarius Records]