Monday, May 21, 2012

Motion Sickness of Time Travel - S/T (SP 016)

Rachel, this nug's for you! This lovely image, of King Kush, is kindly provided by my friends at Humboldt Relief.  peace to you :)

King Kush is not applicable for every record/tape reviewed on this blog.  However, Motion Sickness of Time Travel (MSOTT) S/T is one of the best records of 2012 and it is entirely apt for these side-long, crystal-covered zoners.  There are many reasons to buy this record.  First, this S/T nug has been among the top 10 best selling items at Forced Exposure for four consecutive weeks - and it will likely be in that list for many weeks to come.  Next, not only is this one of the finest records of 2012, but I feel secure in suggesting that this release from Spectrum Spools is Rachel's best work to date.  Perhaps the most important reason is trust.  This is music from the heart.  Not to go off on a tangent, but this music consoled me after the loss of a young family member.  One only takes sincere music with them into the darkest moments of life.  And this music is true to life: beautiful and uplifting in some parts, yet fragile and dark in others.  

The manner in which Rachel constructs tracks - layering sonic elements coupled with her mellifluous voice - is not unique, but her style is singular. While other artists attempt to do similar things with music, it is obvious that Rachel has an innate ability and sincerity that rises above most in this realm of music.  Thus, four sides of vinyl is not too much for this adroit artist.  She revels in the space provided, creating expansive, otherworldly paeans that permeate the toughest skin.  Also, compared to the predecessors, this effort on Spectrum Spools has a clearer sound.       

Just like the beginning of 'Magnetism' on Seeping Through the Veil of the Unconscious, Side A, 'The Dream', exhibits her proclivity for crafting buoyant, warm sections of sound.  Also, Rachel's voice is extremely soothing, and it is comparable to Janina Angel Bath, who was featured in this blog a few months ago.  One must appreciate the manner in which Rachel realizes her ideas through the conduit of music.    

As the needle drops on Side A, the first conspicuous thing is the clarity of sound.  While I love the haze of some of the past recordings, the clarity of sound makes the music glow - a real aural treat for those with hungry ears.  An amalgamation of heavy sounds precedes the parting of the clouds, in which she produces some of the most beautiful tones heard this year.  These tones are shimmering, slow-moving and euphoric. This is music with an implicit desire to heal those that suffer.  Everything in this track develops nicely.  The different states of sound seamlessly integrate.  Almost halfway through the track, a beautiful and mysterious transition occurs.  At first, I had to rub my ears; yet, it felt like Rachel was channeling the sound of one of my music hero's: Joe Zawinul.  'The Dream' ends with fluttering synth and effects.

Side B, 'The Center', contains some of the best MSOTT material to date.  Within minutes, the myriad of layers and Rachel's voice create celestial drift - an extremely relaxing vibe.  A transition occurs, in which the music is almost too perfect for words .  In the next transition, it feels like she is presenting another idea of 'The Center'.  Where as the first part of this track glistened, the sound here feels more direct.

Side C, 'Summer of the Cat's Eye', commences with cavernous tones that race through the labyrinthine structures of the head, with shades of another musical visionary: J D Emmanuel.  Later in the track, the aforementioned tones are ensconced softly in the mix, while her voice and other layers come to the fore. 

'One Perfect Moment', the last track of the album, is just that.  It is a celebration of sound and a wonderful way to end the album.    

Keeping with the aura of this blog, MSOTT S/T is the stickiest of the icky.  As one hops along the different sides, Rachel's spectrum of sound glows intensely, blazing a path for fellow seekers.  This album is available from many fine distros.  I purchased the colored vinyl from Forced Exposure.  Even though the colored vinyl is now unavailable, it doesn't matter if the vinyl is blue or black.  The music is the most important thing, and this sincere, beautiful effort is just the medicine for your head.

Peace to you, friends :)