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Album Review

Earthmonkey is, for all intent purposes, Peat Bog and Nurse With Wound's Steve Stapleton. Audiosapien, on the mighty Beta-lactam label, which all but went completely under the radar in 2003, is really and truly the only slab that can truly be called "psychedelic" in the 21st century. Here are the flipped-out visions of Amon Düül II, the plodding hypnotic grooves of Can, the energy and mischief of the Monks, the glimmering spiritual weirdness of Steve Hillage, the trippier jazz fantasies of Charles Lloyd and Tony Scott, the sheer industry of the Bonniwell Music Machine, and the kaleidoscopic adventurism of Taj Mahal Travellers all rolled into one single vanguard rock disc. Saxophones, organs, Tibetan chants, Jew's harps, weird guitars, organic percussion, undulating sine waves, and plenty of echo and reverb are woven into gradually unfurling rock tunes that do not sound like they were kissed or swallowed by sampling. Individual tracks matter not a whit because this is one long journey that washes over the listener like a hot spring, and never ceases its shape-shifting, undulating, groove. Indeed the saxophone solos on this set could be on any great soul-jazz record from the 1960s, but the fact that they aren't, and are instead enfolded, spindled, and layered through these lovely pulses and shimmering riffs makes them so desirable, so utterly essential as pleasured listening, it's difficult to ascertain anyone not being totally enthralled with this disc. Close your yes, get comfortable, and turn on the stereo: it's time to go sailing through space.

Audiosapien, Earthmonkey
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