Psychomusak — The Extasie
(Delerium DELEC CD 018, 1996/2003, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-08-01
You want psychedelic? The music here, spread out across five long purely instrumental tracks, each ranging from ten to twenty minutes, evokes a hallucinatory half dreamlike state by offering pulsating and repetitive sounds overlaid with droning guitar and swirling synth textures. The program varies and changes slowly as it goes along, keeping the music interesting as it works on the subconscious level. No, this is not conventional music, one might have already guessed. No drums, only a thick pulsating synth-groove on a couple of the tracks, and none of the standard compositional structures, instead being very ambient and freeform. The person behind Psychomusak is Dean Carter, who creates nearly all the sounds on the album using keyboards, electric guitars, and various delays and other effects. Steven "Porcupine Tree" Wilson had a hand in some of the programming and the production throughout, and Cliff Stapleton contributes electric Hurdy Gurdy on "Far In," one of the albums most intense and introspective pieces. By the end of the 75-minute playing time, a new and more open state of mind should prepare the intrepid explorer for whatever is to follow, which after all is the stated purpose of the music: the twisted John Lennon lyric on the back cover says "Turn off your stream, relax, and float down mind." Psychomusak gets you there in half the time.
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more