Friday, December 7, 2012

SULA BASSANA – Dark Days (2012)

2012 (2LP/CD Sulatron Records) 

After 2009’s masterpiece of space-rock “The Night” I have been waiting with much anticipation (he’s been busy with numerous side-projects) the follow-up solo album of Dave Schmidt (Sula Bassana). SpaceHead Dave, this time leaves behind his atmospheric far-out space rock and moves into more earthly space rock paths (whatever that means!) As always, Dave wrote the music and the minimum lyrics, recorded, mixed and produced the whole project between 2007 and 2012. He also proves in the best way how qualified a multi-instrumentalist he’s been acting like. Every single sound is played by Dave with the exception of a couple tracks that his partner in Electric Moon Pablo Carneval lends with his drum abilities. The dark artwork (coming straight from Dante’s Inferno) was done by Komet Lulu (bassist of Electric Moon) and the album was mastered by this legendary Kraut-guy Eroc. 6 tracks in over 70 min timing. Album starts with “Underground” (9:39min), a powerful space-rocker ala Hawkwind with a Zeppelin guitar sound. There are a few ‘lost-in-space’ vocals in this one, by David Henriksson (from Sweden’s finest psych-garage-spacers The Movements). Track becomes dreamy after a while and it is built upon a heavy guitar chord leaving too much ‘space’ to experiment. Most of the times (on all his previous releases) Sula was out there, high up in the faraway sky of another universes playing space-rock music. Well, it seems now, that he is on earth, with his feet on the ground, performing AFSR (Awesome Fucking Space Rock)! Without even noticing “Departure” (6:00min) has taken off. Starts in an acoustic spacey way in a steady monotonous rhythm with lots of space effects going on and becomes dark at times. This is A Modern Space Krautrock Anthem! “Surrealistic Journey” (20:17min) follows. Weird sounds at the opening with a really psychedelic organ sounding. Journey is about to start. Where to? Who cares? Drums are beating faster, atmosphere becomes darker. In the middle of the journey, tune becomes mystical, the unearthly soundscapes are flooding my ears. I can hear the Colors… This is New Age Psychedelic Space Rock! A Surrealistic Journey INDEED! “Dark Days” (9:05min) is built upon a fuzzy distorted guitar sound with a steady dark beat, tribal sounding at times and with its cinematic dramatic theme, makes me wonder, is this The End of Days? An antipodal “Bright Nights” (9:46min) follows. It starts in a moody dark way with weird sounds, guitar's playfulness emitting an experimental feel with improvised noises and after 6 min the now-familiar steady drum beat takes over, only to bring more darkness in the atmosphere (despite track’s title). Album closes with “Arriving Nowhere” (16:46min), starts in a danceable (?!) way with a groovy up-beat rhythm, wah-wah guitar sounding, lots of spacey effects, till the robotic synths take over to make it an electronic Kraut rock experiment with a transcendalized psych tribal minimalistic rhythm and spaced-out stoned guitars. Really trippy. Makes me shout “Careful with that Acid, Sula!” The “Arriving Nowhere” title is only here to disorientate us. This One is “Arriving Everywhere”! Space… The Final Frontier… had fallen… Still July, but it’s probably one of the Best Albums in 2012! TimeLord Michalis

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