News: Matador to give a quarter-century repress to Bardo Pond’s classic ‘Amanita’; hear the previously unreleased ‘Shadow Puppet’

Bardo Pond, photographed by Taylor Cruthers

AS PART of its continuing sifting of absolute gems already in the catalogue, Matador has announced its marking the quarter-century of Bardo Pond’s none-more-hallucinogenic debut for the label (and the band’s sixth overall, by a Discogs reckoning), Amanita, will be getting an empurpled and deluxe anniversary edition pressing, out October 8th. Good news for major heads.

This deluxe version of Amanita is the latest delight to emerge in the label’s Revisionist History series of releases, and joins Yo La Tengo, Bailter Space, Liz Phair and Mary Timony in getting a welcome reissue – it’s expanded, as well.

Matador say of the Revisionist History series: “People tend to presume this is our cheeky way of re-writing Matador’s storied past to make it even more (ahem) storied. To somehow portray ourselves or the recording artists in some glamorous or outlandish fashion. You know, the time Jon Spencer slept with a Cadillac. Johan had 4 slices of pizza before 11:30 am, that kind of thing.

“The sorry fact of the matter is that we’ve had to resort to spinning new label fables because WE SIMPLY CANNOT REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED SO MANY YEARS AGO. Seriously. Whether it was the self-medication, the PTSD, the blows to the head, there’s like a million guys named Dan, ALL OF THE ABOVE, I don’t fucking know. It’s a nightmare. And It’s not as though anyone is going to fact check this stuff.

Suffice to say, we’re counting on the general population — old and young — being as brain-scrambled as we are.”

Exploding into being in Philly in 1991, Bardo Pond’s Matador debut from ’96 will come on double purple vinyl with two extra, previously unreleased tracks: you can delight in the psychedelic sludge of “Shadow Puppet” down at the end there. The previously vinyl-only tracks “Clean Sweep” and “Brambles” will also be added to the album on digital streaming platforms around the same time.

Amanita was a manifesto of everything we were trying to do,” says Bardo Pond’s Michael Gibbons. “It was really a template for everything we did later.

“We were a real unit – just so creative, just making up riffs. There were songs, but they were still rooted in our free-improv base. We had a beauty, but we also had a really strong impulse to be dissonant.”

Even within the heady vibes of ’90s’ stoner psych, Bardo Pond’s vision of psych was singular in its heaviness.

“We weren’t interested in the cliched idea of what that term meant,” Michael says. “We were very interested in the psychedelic experience as it being a bridge to rebirth.

“What’s the chemical your brain releases when you’re overwhelmed? Endorphins. That’s what we were trying to get to when we played these parts.” 

The remainder of the band’s Matador catalog – Lapsed (1997), Set and Setting (1999), and Dilate (2001) – will see reissue later this year alongside a 2xLP rarities compilation.

Bardo Pond’s Amanita will be reissued by Matador on expanded purple 2xLP on October 8th and is available for pre-order right now.

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