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Papir meets Electric Moon – The Papermoon Sessions

Sulatron

Papir meets Electric Moon – The Papermoon SessionsWhoa! Let’s get things straight from the start – this is psychedelic music, pure and simple. This is not pretending to be out there, it IS out there. Both Papir and Electric Moon have a way of playing that turns your brain to mulch and then kicks it out of your head towards a multi-coloured sun. This meeting of fried minds on the edge could really only produce one type of music and that is bloody great slabs of sounds for exploring the universe.

“Farewell Mr. Space Echo” starts with sombre sounding guitar being plucked in a drifting way, as if the tune is escaping from the hands that play them rather than being thought about. The cymbals begin gently until they build into crashing monsters underpinned by some Nick Mason-style tom-tom rolls. Synths build and swell and take us far out into the netherworld of space rock territory. The track begins to build slowly, almost ominously at first, as guitars battle it out for supremacy of the cosmos. This is head trip music, this is the slow decent to the moons surface, this is the darkness of space lit by a supernova photographed by the Hubble space telescope; this is the drifting delirium of rocket ship travel. The track plays out like coming up on an LSD trip; you can almost hear it soar as it leaves your stomach behind. By the end the track begins to free-fall to pieces.

“Red Dust” opens with some Ash Ra Tempelsounding sweet guitar chords that float as light as air over the jazz-style rhythm underneath. Its lead is swathed in echo and dances around the speakers as chiming notes happen beneath. This has touches of Here and Now to it and sounds like the soundtrack to a lazy summer’s afternoon at a free festival. It meanders through its five plus minutes until it passes into the realm of dreams.

At twenty one minutes ‘The Circle’ is the longest track on the album. It starts with a motorik style riff over which twittering synths play and white noise sounds like waves breaking on land. But this is no ordinary world; like Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ Martian landscape set hanging in its red sky. Then the break comes and some beautiful blissed-out echo guitar takes the whole piece down to an almost ambient level. The guitar wails like whale song into the cosmic darkness, drifts around into nothingness and becomes starlight. This melodic middle section gives off the same vibe as early Tangerine Dream in the way that the music seems to float from the speakers. When the drums begin to rise again, one of the guitars is playing a melodic riff until some stirring lead work hits in by the other one. Then wah wah chords hit in to give the track some momentum and we are back to freak-out territory. The chords then settle into some raga stylings as the lead goes wild and all Hendrix on us. Then we begin the come down from the trip, notes hang in the air before becoming echoed noises and lilting atmospherics.

It would be kind of lazy to mention bands like Acid Mothers Temple or early Pink Floyd when reviewing this beautiful album, but for those people who have come across either of those bands before, these artists are handy tags into leading you into the kind of experience you can expect here. This is an amazing release and one that deserves more attention. In fact Sulatron Records itself deserves a delve into their catalogue of some of the best psychedelic music released in the last few years; these records are real gems of the genre. Check them out; you certainly won’t be disappointed.

-Gary Parsons-

 

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