Saturday, August 24, 2013

Mendocino - Ray's Chapel(Old Man Tapes #1); Dig a Hole (Old Man Tapes #4)

wake and bake, sans the shake.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

While performing some research for this review, I did a Google search for Old Man Tapes, and, just as well, it could have been a search for Al-Qaeda's Inspire magazine, haha.  The search yielded a sordid amalgamation of elderly porn links. Oh well, just another notch on the Honest Bag NSA belt.  There's a dearth of information on Mendocino, and, the micro-label on which these tapes appear, Old Man Tapes - operating out of Asheville, NC.  Yet, put those thoughts on hold and let this notion sink into your head:   this is the sound of friendship blossoming toward exalted realms- because that's where these kief-coated blazers travel. According to the information on Tomentosa's site, these jam sessions document weekly recordings by a group of friends.  If you have experienced the raw, communal feel of basement/house jam sessions - either as a participant or observer - then maybe you can identify with the sacred aura emitted by the times.  Ray's Chapel and Dig a Hole radiate stoned vibrations for the heads crowd.  The path these guys travel is sure to tickle the trichomes on your nug.  They touch on some beautiful sounds over these two tapes that will interest admirers of krautrock, early Sunburned, German Oak, and Sylvester Anfang ii.  Regardless of the references, these cats blaze their own path.  There's so much occurring over these two tapes. The mix of heavy lo-fi psych tempered by ceremonial vibrations on offer here is hard to exceed. The voluminous, drugged feel of these sessions is perfect listening at anytime of the day.

Given that Ray's Chapel is nearly unavailable, the following refers to Dig a Hole.  Immediately, Mendocino gets the listener lifted with serene vibrations the seem to echo interminably - Golden Roadies unite!  Percussion and reverberating strings gently hover.  In the next track, a lo-fi nug billows and then is fleshed out as they hit the groove with chugging guitars.  They touch the zenith with an unabated sonic assault.  Next crunchy chords approach the red, coursing with mutant energy; mayhem follows. On the flip, the aura of mindfulness shines brightly as a wind instrument, vocal incantations and tribal rhythms prepare the listener for the ensuing psych mayhem.  A successive flow of beats leads to heavy psych/space rock as writhing guitars, synth and percussion provide a veil to muffled vocals.  Dig a Hole finishes with a section of dreamy guitars, which leads to a final track.

Coming across this tape is analogous to picking up a bag of frosty nugs - they tend to disappear quickly. Get your dank goodness at Tomentosa.  Also, a copy of Ray's Chapel is available on Discogs.

peace and love, friends :)