my wake 'n bake (no shake) jams - peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)
For a while, Holland Village was untouchable, situated at the apex of my German Army (GeAr) column of tapes - until I heard the new one on Field Hymns. Crystal-covered Tassili Plateau, on Field Hymns, has a dank, otherworldly quality that hovers and permeates like the finest indica. A surreal mountainous area in the middle of the Sahara, Tassili n'Ajjer is renown for the rock art - 15,000 drawings and etchings currently identified to date - that suffuses the landscape. It is a magnificent record of human evolution and the movement of animals among other things; the images correspond nicely to the GeAr jams on offer. Evacuate your head space prior to liftoff because this LA duo lights up your head with an array of intriguing textures on synthesizer and guitar; ebullient, evocative passages; ritualistic burners; adept tempo/mood variation that endows each jam with a singular character; and hash oil-coated drum machines.
GeAr is impressive from the time one presses play. "Border Marsh" features voluminous, sustained synth which modulates to yield a dreamy effect; however ominous, intractable vibrations descend shortly. The juxtaposition is beautiful - the unyielding, writhing metallic sound that abuts eastern imbued tones. Warmth pervades the atmosphere in "Mumbai" as pleasant, reverb-soaked melodies dance on the air. "Antiseptic" presents something different than the first two tracks; decayed drum machines caked in dust combine with ghastly synth and some of the cleanest vocals that I've heard in a GeAr recording. Walls of thick noise meander, while the synth twinkles in "Crooning Ignorance". The last track on side A, "Indian Beast" is one of my favorites. Slow moving, hazy beats churn as crystalline tones exude geometric designs. Embryonic droplets of beauty mature into sonorous streams. Pack it tight for the flip because once you press play a continuum of beats plummets which precipitates the release of fervent, dense tones into the atmosphere. Another outstanding track is "Bondage". There is a ritualistic nature to this track which imbues it with an intriguing, dubious character. Sustained synthesizer - voluminous and bleary - bends around the labyrinthine structures that partly comprise the lunar landscape in "The Sexual Cycle of Human Norms." The last track is about as heady as they come. "Goa" is the sound of the Beach Boys hotboxing in some futuristic ballroom.
Tassili Plateau is one of a few recently released recordings from German Army. Released in an edition of 75 cassettes, Tassili Plateau is highly recommended and may be purchased directly from Field Hymns.
peace and love, friends :)