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20 Nov 2016

LSD Pond “LSD Pond” 2008 US Psych Space Rock

LSD Pond  “LSD Pond” 2008  US Psych Rock 2CD  edition in 1000 copies
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Old-school Philly post-psych masters Bardo Pond trading sweet, bluesy sounds with Japanese tradesmen LSD-March and Masami Kawaguchi’s New Rock Syndicate. It all fades in like they’ve been playing forever; moderately paced, long, dope-y, free-form jams in which the ideas go all unusual in the middle and often fall apart in the climaxes, kind of dark and almost without structure. Although this album just bleeds skill in the musicianship, it’s more about getting in the groove; I can just imagine their eyes back in their heads, bodies bobbing and weaving as the smoke thickens. Luckily the Pond-sters inject a dose of post-rock concentration into the proceedings, so that we have ‘60s psych that sounds nowhere near the '60s - no big-bloused, flower-chain poofterism here - grittier, like '70s urbanism had been introduced into the mix, minus the afros and street dealing funk. It’s not psychedelica as much as an interest in stringing out the music to see how far they can go, working the limits and fingering the edges. Then with the second CD we get a different line-up which pushes it rougher, odder, more whacked-out. A damaged yet solid wall-of-sound versus the distinct notes of the first disc. (Especially check-out the ambient noise-into-cool-machine-moaning improv of “Sugatanaki Kyofu”.) And here on this side Isobel Sollenberger’s dervish vox provide a human-esque highlight for what’s been primarily instrumental. Particularly in the finale of “Yoru Kara Yorue” where her voice acts as a sane anchor amidst the wicked storm. All great, and I don’t even take drugs…..by RIStout…~  


Recorded live in the studio over two nights, this is a double CD of jams by the ever wonderful Bardo Pond and Japan's equally loveable LSD March. The music tilts from sounding like outtakes from Bardo Pond's Selections CD-Rs to LSD March's heady live sound. All the descriptions and superlatives that have been attributed to either band apply just as well to this monster of an album that they have spawned.The opening track of the first disc, "We are LSD Pond," fades in like the jamming has been going on for some time before we have been allowed to listen in. Based around a solid groove, the piece is like one long solo where everyone solos. It sounds self- indulgent (and sitting in a studio jamming all day is a fine way to indulge yourself) but it is fantastic nonetheless. There is only one way to describe the music and that is that it is white hot. 

Amazingly, from such a high octane start the jams get wilder and better as the album progresses. Most of the pieces work so well thanks to the fantastic drumming on every track. Despite there being three people credited with drums and percussion, it never sounds over the top. On "Utuwa No Naka No Mizu," a Kraut inspired drum pattern allows for the rest of the band to go hog wild with some very exciting guitar with wah pedal solos going on. 

On the second disc, the line up has been augmented slightly as it is from a second day of recording. The songs with this line up are substantially longer and unlike the instrumental first act, Isobel Sollenberger contributes vocals to the mix. It begins with a radically different "We are LSD Pond." Sollenberger's voice gets masked by the music, it sounds like she has a PA set up at monumental volumes in another building and it is bleeding through the walls over the maelstrom of LSD Pond's freakout. It works well with this and the subsequent tracks but it would have been nice to have some cleaner vocals too. 

I cannot finish this review without mentioning the gorgeous presentation of this album. Archive always have attractive packaging for their releases and this is no exception. Designed by Keith Utech, this release has a textured outer sleeve with a design like old fashioned wallpaper contains a small booklet of photos from the sessions and the CDs (encased in simple black sleeves bound with more of the wallpaper-style card). The physical package matches the sounds heard on the disc perfectly. 

Overall this is a phenomenal album, both bands have come together to form a glorious whole and a glorious din. This is a stand out album no matter which band's back catalogue you consider. It is one of the first new releases of 2008 and I would be very surprised if I was not still spinning it in December....~
This is essentially a Bardo Pond recording with major contributions from the Japanese band LSD March. Recorded over two dates in October 2006, and apparently improvised with no overdubs, this is a stunning set of pounding, surging guitar worship. Every track pulsates with excited yet blissed-out urgency. Melodic, driving and just plain gorgeous. The sound is excellent, and the hand-crafted packaging is a wonder. Hands down the loveliest CD-as-object I own. Pretty sure this was a limited edition on Scott Slimm's aRCHIVE label. A thing of beauty in every way....Byjohn the lawyer...~

I was supposed to write that in a sense this collaboration is some supergroup. But no, no jokes. The fact that Bardo Pond once played with Mogwai, and even splits with them, does not mean anything, and even the oldest blacks have not heard of LSD March. I also wanted to write that both bands are known only to a handful of enthusiasts, but sometimes I have the impression that no one but me listens to it. 
So if someone did not know - you read about the space-rock band, in addition very boldly improvising. If I add that the whole, divided into eight tracks, "LSD Pond" lasts more than 130 minutes, will anyone have doubts, what came out of it? I can not say that the "Amanita" Bardo Pond was going somewhere, but as a work twice shorter, in a sense defining the way for the next decade of acid improvisation, it can be considered as an important album, and should rather be known. The more so because Bardo Pond gave in 1996 a sign that along with the forgotten "Drop" Colfax Abbey and "Well Oiled" Hash Jar Tempo, was a signpost for bands such as Yume Bitsu (I have the impression that I repeat myself). All it took was a little more dreaming, a little less drugs and a little awareness that if they're recording something, 
But that was Yume Bitsu. Bardo Pond stayed where they were, and together with acid-rock ultras (there are also the prefixes stoner and prog) LSD-March went on tour in 2006, which resulted in the album I am describing. At the beginning, the question arises: where are the eleven men here? After all, I played this game with my friend after a few beers last summer. But but! The secret lies in the fact that I and Bartek were able to soak for 30 minutes, and LSD Pond pull it over four times longer. And everything is clear - two or three plays, and the rest sleeps or burns something. 
Nothing surprises here. My high rating results rather from the sentiment to those holidays and from the fact that I like something like that sometimes. Because the drums are cool, because the guitarists neatly lead their motives. But one advice for you - read this text fifty times. If you succeed, you can try to survive "LSD Pond"...by...Artur Kiela...~


Credits 
Bass – Kikuchi Akira* (tracks: 1-1 to 1-5), Clint Takeda (tracks: 2-1 to 2-3) 
Design – Utech* 
Drums, Percussion – Ikuro Takahashi, Jason Kourkounis 
Electronics – Aaron Igler (tracks: 2-1 to 2-3) 
Guitar – John Gibbons 
Guitar, Bass – Masami Kawaguchi (tracks: 1-1 to 1-5) 
Guitar, Bass, Drums – Shinsuke Michishita 
Guitar, Producer, Recorded By – Michael Gibbons 
Mastered By – James Plotkin 
Percussion – Shibata Nao* (tracks: 1-1 to 1-5) 
Photography By – Slimm* 
Vocals, Flute – Isobel Sollenberger (tracks: 2-1 to 2-3)

Tracklist 
1-1 We Are LSD Pond 17:22 
1-2 Hikari Naki Sekai 23:13 
1-3 Tamerai To Kurushimi 5:20 
1-4 Utuwa No Naka No Mizu 15:43 
1-5 Dosyaburi No Naka De 10:47 
2-1 We Are LSD Pond 25:06 
2-2 Sugatanaki Kyofu 27:00 
2-3 Yoru Kara Yorue 19:44 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

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