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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

WOODEN WAND & THE VANISHING VOICE

It’s a great story: Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth picks them up one day when they’re hitch-hiking, plays their tape in his car and is instantly smitten. Who knows, maybe Thurston digs Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice because they sound as old and mysterious and spooky as the woods of upstate New York that spawned them. Their music feels like it’s been there forever, waiting for them to play it and for us to hear it.



Wooden Wand, Satya Sai Baba Scuppety, Steven Harvest Taveniere, Heidi Reality Diehl, Glucose Crane
and Ursula Damm form the nucleus of an extended cosmic jug-band that burns as brightly as Sun-Ra’s Solar-Myth Arkestra, yet retains the warmth and intimacy of a stoned camp-fire singalong. So, are they Free Psych or what, then? “Well, we don't really keep up with genre-tags and whatnot,” laughs Satya, “We just try to emulate what we think the first rehearsals of Fleetwood Mac, Deep Purple or Jefferson Airplane might have sounded like. We want to harness that energy and cultivate the excitement of Not Knowing. The most important thing is to believe. None of this is pretend.”

Their last (vinyl) LP “Xiao” (on DeStijl records) was dense and otherworldly; it took the idea of Rural Psychedelic Rock and stretched it until it became almost unrecognisable. I understand what Nemo means when he describes a band as sounding 'syrupy': WW&VV's music is damp and sticky, almost glue-like... yet, despite it's apparent density, their music is never leaden; in fact, it seems to hover, its individual components beautifully orbiting each other, clanking, scraping, buzzing...vibrating like the aural equivalent of a Heath-Robertson contraption...


(Photos: courtesy of Satya Sai)

And really strange things happen when they play live: people bang on cardboard-boxes instead of drums; they go into trances, collapse or faint. “And, once,” says Satya, “We were playing in the woods and, one by one, animals began to appear. Soon, we were surrounded by rabbits and squirrels, and most of them stayed and watched until we were finished. Our most appreciative and adorable audience ever…”

A new double LP “Buck Dharma” will be available soon from Time Lag Records.