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Published: 2006/02/17
by Randy Ray

eponymous – Elemental Harmonics

Auracle 13285-94732
din-o-saur, n. a large extinction-defying bird apt to long journeys over vast terrain.
Im a huge gigantasaurasly MASSIVE Tangerine Dream fan. I have a blissed-out preference for the vibe that those crazy maniacal Hun bastards put down — especially in the 1970s when they first experimented with mammoth monolithic enormo computers, HAL-9000 units, Moogs, synths, power chords, telephone operator equipment, air traffic control gadgets and toaster oven plates. I just love all of that ethereal and incensey and giant bongalicious gear. The whole 2001: A Space Odyssey jag goes down especially well at 4 am after 2,000 words, five copy edits and nine fingers of 101 proof whiskey.
So… Elemental Harmonics. Theyve got the surreal Space 3999/T-Zone/Solaris/bass and drums/poker chips bashing about in the clothes dryer vibe that I like. A friend recently wrote that most new bands should slow down and get weird. I thought that was so brilliantly simple and dead on that I couldnt possibly ever top it. This album is very slow and weird but in a way that, perhaps, bands like Lotus, Perpetual Groove or even the String Cheese Incident-offshoot Zilla should listen to in their LSD-abetted dreamscapes. For one thing, EH, if the reader will allow the obvious acronym, plays with melody like a switched-on funked up jazz band from Hades that doesnt want to play straight music so much — EH explores a mood familiar with patient grace.
Storm, is just that as a quiet melodic structure is constructed languidly over five minutes whilst pared with a rainy downpour. Vision shoots the tempo up a notch but not enough to ruin the ambient buzz and Goodbye Yesterday introduces a fine acoustic guitar into the spacy blend to serve as quite a segue into Balancing — a tangy fusion of the Dream and the Duo with a guest guitarist; yesterday resting quite comfortably with tomorrow. Parallel Universe doesnt live up to its title but Travels circumvents that negative note with a trippy launch into a cavernous comet crashing through deep space. NGC-2997 is one minute of loose wire mayhem that should point towards future EH developments quite nicely — think Radioheads Jonny Greenwood and Aphex Twin in a blender mixed with a slice of Keith Emerson and one mind melds in a perfect sonic candle drip with the opening VB-12.
Now, I suppose, in a roundabout way that, YES (please excuse the Bill Bruford/Rick Wakeman/Chris Squiresque pun), these tracks are a lucid path towards the elusive slow down and get weird club but, it is also a tubular freeway towards cosmic late night headphone exotica that goes down like a toxic electric shock motherfucker. The last five songs on this disc will get your washing machine to hump the dryer like Ron Jeremy on a very good night. Space Cowboysyouve found a traveling audio companion; plug in a fresh new way to look at the old fave raves, the mighty Dream.

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