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Electric Moon – Stardust Rituals

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Electric Moon - Stardust RitualsDuring the late Sixties, part of the psychedelic experience was to discover your inner self by going on the hippie trail to India and Nepal. Here people would find gurus, live in ashrams and contemplate the universe by the side of the Ganges. Electric Moon’s fifth studio album seems to be almost a soundtrack to these journeys in to inner space and the search for the cosmic otherness.

“The Loop” starts with organ and strummed guitar and has the kind of feel that the Pink Floyd soundtracks of that hippy era had. Komet Lulu’s flanged vocals sound unearthly and beautiful as they drift through your altered consciousness. The song floats on a cosmic breeze that travels around the peaks of the highest mountains. Sula Bassana’s guitar break is quite stunning and lifts the song up skyward. When Marcus Schnitzler’s drums hit in, the track picks up pace and heads into pure freak-out mode. An incredible and stunning way to the open the album and one that alludes to the journey ahead.

“Stardust (The Picture)” is a heavier number producing some classic bass riffs from Lulu that ground her otherworldly vocals. Electric guitar takes prominence and sounds as if the seeker is climbing a tall peak to sample the clear air and gain clarity to their inner visions. This is a classic piece of Electric Moon space rock that takes you beyond the boundaries of your own self and makes your mind dance at one with the cosmos. It’s relentless in its push forward, like coming up on LSD and knowing that you have eight hours of being elsewhere. Here we enter the temple of the mind and we are on the threshold of expanding it infinitely.

Sitar introduces “Astral Hitch Hike” and suddenly we are stumbling in to 1967 territory as we travel the roads towards Kathmandu and the bang shops there. I love the sound of sitars in songs, so this track can do no wrong with me, ,reminding me of some of the work of Lamp Of The Universe. It takes you the landscape of ancient places where the prayer flags scatter their words unto the winds of the Himalayas. A subtle Mellotron plays underneath the sitar, adding a strange and uplifting feel to proceedings.

To finish the album there is the mighty twenty-three minute epic “(You Will) Live Forever Now”. Fading in an almost ambient fashion, the sitar again leads us through a path that connects to other realities; here the sound seems to touch on more late Sixties bands like Quintessence on its search for its higher self. The bass and drums are beautifully understated and the whole sound takes your mind’s eye to the places of spiritual awareness that cling to the waters edge at Rishikesh. A subtly echoed lead electric guitar plays a transcendental melody as the rhythm section falls in to a steady beat. Slowly the track builds and you feel your chakras open as voices drift around you. The lead picks up and heads in to wah-wah psychedelic territory as your mind moves to a point where you hope to attain nirvana. A big bass riff begins to take hold and suddenly you can feel the electricity of your spirit floating in the air. The music seems to find its own sense of peace and you can’t helped but be swept along by its sense of calm. Then the sweeping Mellotron comes in for the final section and takes you to a place of pure bliss.

OK; I’m going to put my cards on the table here: in my opinion this has to be one of Electric Moon’s finest releases to date (and that takes some beating). For me it ticked so many boxes of what a great psychedelic album should be. The sound is wonderful and lush and the musicianship is excellent throughout. The album has that intangible quality that all great albums do, it’s difficult to explain it — you just have to feel the music. Its a remarkable work that fills you full of joy as the sounds envelops you. If you buy one record released so far this year, this would be my choice.

-Gary Parsons-

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