SULCUS, a San Diego based experimental quartet mailed us the album in question. A work that according to their mail is mostly instrumental, venturing in and out post-rock soundscapes and soundtrack territories with some audio collages, found sounds, and occasional spoken words from the twilight zone. Their invitation was clear, and so this challenge was accepted. What follows is an honest review (a rarity around here!) with personal opinions. Feel free to skip it and click this link and download the album to form your own opinions (and perhaps write your very own review…) it’s available for free from the Free Music Archive, so no need to put on your pirate costume!
Ah, before I forget… here is the review:
SULCUS opens the sulky road with a piece that comes across like a Gollum slowly stepping around in a creepy way. We can hear the poor creature saying something that sounds as if it’s in pain or in despair, and the mysterious sounding music helps this in to a great Hollywood moment.
Then the album really starts to get shape with ROSTRUM, a relaxed psychological friendly piece of psychic coolness of pretty guitar strings and a cozy slow rolling drum. The singer’s voice nicely laying deep on this base of music that easily will take tripping friends down to the other side. There is some sampled voice talking about some electric device at the end, which might be a case of being tricked into a good trance in order to be reprogrammed to consume and buy things.. I stopped listening for a bit and bought an electric toothbrush for a non-apparent reason…
‘catecholamine cataclysm’ has it’s calm bits, nicely triggering mellow melodies of mystery with a slight dramatic feel. I imagine it being great material music for some strange documentary
‘missing sonar memories of agent Schmitterson ‘ is one of the pretty ones, in which lovable guitar structures are being used to set a natural landscape, with here and there slight twists. The most interesting within the music piece is the bird sounds, they seem to sound very human; as if SULCUS had hired a professional bird spotter ‘who knows its birds’ to perform the bird sounds as close as the real thing; it makes it all the more original!
‘3ncryption 0blivi0n ‘ is a lengthy track that sounds like a psychedelic mushroom on a free speech band stand setup at close range somewhere in both your inner ears. The music plays with a high sensibility, a fine deranged dreamy content that has emotional feelings inside that are pretty much turning into zoned-out melodic trippyness. Personally i felt that the sampled speaking vocals that come in like a priest at certain times are a bit of a disturbance to the otherwise comfortable melodic flow of prettiness. It’s the music that will trigger your own mind with thoughts and wonder, especially when it takes the time to travel through beautiful settings that is easy enough to have the voices in your own head being triggered to silently sing on top. Now it becomes a little crowded and it’s killing the pretty psychedelic atmosphere of the excellent music by background television noises that create a reason for paranoia instead of getting at ease on a fine mushroom trip.
‘sonar memories of agent Schmitterson ‘seems to pick up a previous story, one that I loved for the human bird like impressions, and thank fully these sounds come back over here. It gives the pretty musical flow a touch of fun that otherwise could have been ruined by using a recording of real life birds. This is perfect!
‘M.Minski’s mind machines‘ is strangely odd and I feel obliged to tell you that this for sure is a good thing. It’s like listening to a short snippet of a mad scientist’s sound lab. You can just smell the tubes of smoke & it’s rather exciting! The short length leaves plenty up to the imagination; also a +!
This ‘whitening transform’ is pretty stuff, music with everything at the right place and sound, it sounds greatly produced, played and recorded making the nicely played drums and organic spacious melodic material into a reason to float around like a listening balloon with ears drawn on each side.
With rolling exciting drums and some shouting that makes me feel I’m hearing an actor scream ‘SPARTAaaaaaaaaaaAaaAaaaAaaA!’ That’s a bit how ‘visceral-versa metacarpals ‘ starts.., then suddenly it starts to rain and the music becomes some crazy cowboy song. A happy song as if the cowboy didn’t see water for a long time and is happy to shower in these raindrops to jam a song of happiness through it.
More moments of wonder is being played out on the acoustic work seeking of the dreamingly playful sounding Westerfield bypass ZFHik. Mad soon as the pretty music rules my heart, and I’ve packed my bags to travel to the realms of sound heaven again some sampled talkative voice is being faded in to twist the prettiness into something creepy and paranoia. It’s probably a conceptual choice of SULCUS, part of their sound and style, yet in all honesty it makes it a bit like an obstruction to let go and travel into the abyss of the excellent grippy music. But that Dude in the big Lebowski said it all; that’s just your opinion, man… Luckily for me and my opinion there is enough music to enjoy without interfering words, perfectly done to trip away in to the lands in which psychedelic music rules it’s scepter and ‘he’ or ‘she’ who talks through it gets their own heads served on a plate; wonderful!
‘reservoir computing in a deep data incubator‘ feels like entering an exotic far away hotel and pressing the service bell at the lobby. This all under the obvious influence of mind altering substances; this is the kindest and wanderlust music to trip out in. It’s like a hot vacation, flying weightless in the hotel lobby like a fakir elevating above the ground. Favorite music holiday destination within the album, for sure!
The track named ‘dead cobra molecular algebra’ has everything to be shimmering away in; a classy mood, a mysterious touch of retro synth, and a vibe of curiosity; so pretty!
Then there is ‘cement dementia’ which again makes me want to filter the words out in able to just hear the amazing pretty mind captivating music. The music is good and worth the trip on its own, that any other word wandering through it just seems to become a hinder. It’s like going to a concert of a band that you always wanted to see and hear performing live on stage, but there is a couple of other people holding up phones and tablets filming the concert and you won’t be able to see properly, then get pissed off & eventually completely forget to listen and enjoy to the music. Oh man, honesty & opinions are such a burden sometimes.
cinq Heisenbürgers clonés pour PKD’ is the final destination of the album; this is the track to conclude a final conclusion; a last briefing how pretty and fat the music is, and how nice it all sounds melodic and thick groove wise; these drums stand solid like a rock, providing the guitar friends an stable home to do their thing in. The additional sound snippets are respectfully placed around the edges; a sweet goodbye.Hear and download this album for free over at the following link: