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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT

Glad to see that Loki is also being seduced by the neurally-damaged Finnish Ur-Volk Psychk of Kemialliset Ystavat (roughly translates as "Chemical Friends"). I feel duty-bound to point out the wonderous hessian-bound triple-LP vinyl ("By the Fruits...You shall know the Roots") recently put out as a joint release by Eclipse and Time-Lag. Six acts get a side each: Six Organs of Admittance (featuring Ben Chasny of Comets on Fire), Jack Rose, Dredd Foole, The MV/EE Medicine Show (featuring Matt Valentine of Tower Recordings, Erika Elder and 'free' drummer Chris Corsano of Sunburned Hand of the Man), Fursaxa, and Kemialliset Ystavat with Joshua Burkett.

The Kemialliset/Burkett side definitely doesn't disappoint, starting as it does with a short detuned guitar/xylophone/drone piece that sounds like Tyranosaurus Rex at 16rpm locked in the bathroom with a Swell Maps B-side. This then morphs into some beautifully hesitant accoustic-guitar picking.

Next up is a queasy, lurching Sea Shanty with what sounds like a Dave Anderson era Amon Duul bass-line and some women pretending to be owls. Afterwards, gorgeously-understated guitars chime and twang and shine for a couple of minutes. Later, a weedy-sounding synth arrives demanding political asylum; it has fled a half-forgotten LP recorded somewhere in Canada in the early Seventies and it sounds real lonesome until it is joined by a thick, creamy, toothpaste-flavoured electric guitar and some wobbly flange action.

The next track is a clunky old wooden wagon full of thumb-pianos and slide-guitars that sounds like a half-speed Glam Rock hoe-down. It struggles up a hill and eventually disappears from view. Boy, I sure hope they're okay...

A Moog synthesiser battles it out with a swarm of violins, while a disinterested accoustic guitar watches from some nearby bushes. Someone forces the track off the road and the violins suddenly descend like a dark cloud of hungry locusts, consuming the track from within.

We end with more accoustic guitars: meditative, lyrical and clear-headed; this is the sound of someone thinking out loud. In the next room a barely-audible cassette tape of the same track is playing. A click of an off-switch, and the music erases itself in a blur of hiss.

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