16 April 2013

Sungod - 2012 - Crash Galactic

Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.25 out of 5

Taking a few choice pages out of the krautrock playbook,  Sungod provides impressionistic, instrumental splatter paintings that aim to take you on a trip.  They aren't quite Can, but they do take aim at a variety of sound motifs, providing the listener with constantly shifting sonic scenery.  You'll get warped sounds from the planetarium peyote ceremony, to the psychedelic grime of the back alleys of Berlin (or Austin, Texas as the band hails from there) with a mixture of vintage Moogs, acoustic instrumentation that recalls Can's ethnological forgeries, and the occasional blast of full drum kit percussion.

The bookends of the album, "Constellation of Ions" and "Ion Ecstacy" work the experimental ambient tape groove with cold, celestial synth washes.  Sungod probably could've gotten away with 30 minutes of this stuff, but variety is the spice of "Crash Galactic."  Those electronic pulses seem to be fused into these guys' brains, and the more synth heavy tracks are the real winners.  "Bounded Hessians" tosses us directly into the thirty-five minute mark of a 8's cop show, right when our admittedly square hero gets forcibly dosed with the wild, newest designer drug.  "Shimmering Light (Pure Religion)" is like 70's Tangerine Dream jamming with the ghost of Manuel Gottsching (whom I should probably mention isn't actually dead).  The band yields at it's most successfully experimental, with the aboriginals of Jupiter bouncing back the sounds of Gyorgy Legeti.  A few other tracks, like "Indra's Net and Bell Theorem" may drift a little too far beyond the pale, with no destination in sight, while "The Infinite Regress" walks a groove that doesn't quite do it for me.  Still, it is a far, far better thing to traverse the knife's edge of experimentation and occasionally fail than to sound like a Belieber.

I think some of the vibrations here are kin with t
he recordings I've posted by my past collaborator, Andrew Bland.  The sea of sound is a little colder in the presence of Sungod, though, and they want to hurtle you into space.  Visit the cathedral at the end of this link:

Sungod - 2012 - Crash Galactic

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