Captcha Records/ Cardinal Fuzz are taking on a real public service function here by repressing the first two albums by Australian spiritual psych rockers Dreamtime. While the band’s eponymously titled debut is reviewed elsewhere, here I’m having a look at the second album ,’Sun’, which is a considerable development from that already accomplished first album.
‘Sun’ begins innocuously enough with ‘Center of Mind’ a mysterious and eerie opener which, although good, does nothing to signal the madness that is about to be unleashed upon us. As it’s title suggests, ‘Center of Mind’ helps ground us. This is fairly vital given how ‘Baphomet’ opens with what sounds like some intense ritual cleansing as we pass into the Dreamtime realm. The shakers, chanters and outback noise forms a cacophony of sound through which the band pepper with pulses of guitar, bass and percussion. With the cleansing finally over it feels like we can finally enter the ritual space as the music whirls like dervishes before breaking out into the sort of powerful heavy psych that electrifies the soul…seriously, what a fucking track!
After that some sort of space for contemplation is surely required, and sure enough ‘The Road’ is a far more meditative number, taking us on a voyage of discovery with some beautifully soaring female vocals guiding us though the unknown and unmet recesses of our minds. The sense of space and reverence is maintained with ‘Equivalence’ this its wonderfully evocative organ and guitar licks reminiscent of Zeppelin’s ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’. This is a track that dives and soars taking you with it like a bird in flight viewing the terrain below.
The title track, which opens up side two, is another really considered and introspective track that begins as warmly as you might imagine yet gradually winds up into something altogether more wild drawing in influences from 60s West Coast psychedelia before launching into a massive world-gobbling riff machine burning up everything before it. I love the sonic metamorphoses here…you never quite know what’s going to hit you next. This is the sun in all its aspects and, over ten minutes, a track that it really ambitious in its scope…utterly fantastic!
With ‘Brujeria’ the surprises keep on coming as the band really stretch out into new areas of music. There are hints of the bucolic psychedelia of Syd Barrett, with some Morricone-like spaghetti western flashes…yet the overall feeling is that of the Middle Eastern souk with strong elements of Turkish psychedelics as the track powers through its influences to create something quite unique.
I have to admit that by the time I get to the final track, ‘Art of Invisibility’ I get a real feeling of being sonically well fed, because this is an album of such scope and variety. But the band are far from finished yet because this mammoth thirteen minute track is…well…where do I even begin. It’s like a particularly fucked up version of The Doors ‘The End’ with its powerful drone and rasping vocal. Then, about halfway through the whole thing just explodes into a massive fucked up eruption of sound before a lone synth takes us back down into the inner sanctum once again through the ritual cacophony into a monotone, and relatively low-key, finale.
It’s a calming and unremarkable end, but what a fucking trip!
‘Dreamtime’ is available to pre-order from Cardinal Fuzz and Captcha Records from 29th January 2016, and released on 11th March.
The album will be available with a purple/yellow vertigo swirl heavyweight vinyl housed in a 350g sleeve.
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