Sunday, February 7, 2010
VIBRACATHEDRAL ORCHESTRA "SMOKE SONG" (VHF)
The trilogy winds down with the most gooped-up entry, the totally eastern continent fetishizing opus "Smoke Song." Again split between two sides, albeit this time more trance-induction minded, VC brings the raga-esque jams with a fervor and a purpose, and maybe even a wry smile. Side A is given over to two songs, the title track and a much shorter piece that may as well not even be there considering the time it eats. The title track, however, is a different story entirely, one of VC's most droning mutations of enthnography, a continent-humper if there was one-this sounds like every stereotype you've ever had of an Indian bazaar, all noise and mosquitoes and heat and sweat and buzz and pulse. You can practically feel the throngs of people thrown up against you, the endless shouts and beckonings to explore this or that. It's a dirty, overpopulated cornucopia of dizzying bliss. Side B continue along the same lines except in a much more relaxed manner, bringing to mind the soothing drones of La Monte Young, a forever droning din of bowed metals and buzzing slack. It's an absolute brain melter, for sure, and it's records like these that make me sometimes wish i still enjoyed pot. The window is wide open with this one. Reflecting on the trilogy as a whole i'm perplexed as to why VC didn't just choose to release a double CD; maybe they felt only the most dedicated cosmonauts would indulge this as an actual trilogy and that the three LP format would appeal to a wider cross-section of potential fans. For me, you need all three. It doesn't make sense otherwise. But for the uninitiated any of these records could serve as a starting point. The majesty of drone awaits you with open arms.