US - Oregon - Full Moon 76 - 12/19/02
The Golden Vessyl of Sound
Listening to music and being stoned. Making music and being stoned. Rock music and altered
states of mind are often interwoven, especially in the case of all things 'psychedelic'. But
rarely is there a record that conveys that feeling of being disorientated and yet completely
comfortable in the sound surrounding you, the rush of the new knocking you off your feet while
the familiar catches your fall.
Yume Bitsu are from Portland, Oregon and this is their fourth album. I can't say whether
The Golden Vessyl of Sound is indicative of the sound of their previous records. All I
can say is that I want to hear more if they're anything like this swirling beauty.
It's difficult to strike a balance between 'exploring' and 'noodling'. How do you engage the
listener and take them somewhere they've never been before? Well, a good start is to dispense
with song titles. Unlike Sigur Rós, Yume Bitsu have given their album a name, and a strange
story on the sleeve. I'm not entirely sure what it means, but the mythology of 'moth men' seems
to crop up on the album highlight, track seven ('Beyond
the outer reaches of the city in the sky/The moth man carried him on gilded wings/The crown
prince of Drysstan has died' - you get the picture).
What you've essentially got here is a mix of Pink Floyd, early Verve, and loads of other
shoegazey bands like Ride. It's a potent blend of guitars fed through innumerable FX pedals,
synth washes, tribal drums, and occasional harmonised vocals that shine through the mix to
glorious effect. It's a bit prog rock, but manages to get away with its indulgences by being so
If you want a decent modern psychedelic album to toke to then this is worth checking out. It
even sounds good when you're straight - the ultimate test.
I'm off to check out their back catalogue...
Copyright © 2002 Tim Clarke