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Set and Setting

Bardo Pond

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Album Review

The broken-down blues of Bardo Pond might just alter the world. The cilia-pulling strains of Set and Setting become utterly more infectious with each new spin. It's as though Bardo Pond is tugging the earth into their psychedelic orbit without anyone's knowledge or consent. The band is at their most effective on instrumental cuts like "Datura" and the violin-based "Cross Current." Here, sounds get their most stretched out and visual. On the whole, Set and Setting is another cohesive step forward, a slow parade of seductive experimentation and noise that crawls on rock's foundation and doesn't care what anyone thinks. This description could also apply to some of Sonic Youth's better music. Imagine then, Sonic Youth strewn across the desert on blotter acid; Set and Setting probably sounds something like that.

Biography

Formed: 1993 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Bardo Pond was the flagship band of Philly's "Psychedelphia" space rock movement, which also included the likes of Aspera, Asteroid No. 4, the Azusa Plane, and tangentially the Lilys. Explicitly drug-inspired — their titles were filled with obscure references to psychedelics — they favored lengthy, deliberate sound explorations filled with all the hallmarks of modern-day space rock: droning guitars, thick distortion, feedback, reverb, and washes of white noise. Hints of blues structure...
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Set and Setting, Bardo Pond
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