(2017) Curanderos - Curanderos
This EP documents a Record Store Day collaboration between the Philly drone godfathers (and godmothers) of Bardo Pond and likeminded DC/Philly space rockers of Kohoutek, stretching slow moving buzz and hum and clatter over roughly 20-minute intervals. Both cuts are named after a hallucinogenic used in Native American spirituality (“Mescalito Part One” and “Mescalito Part Two”) and the band’s name itself comes from a form of Native American shamanism that employs herbs, poultices, chants and prayers to heal ailments of the mind and body. That plus the two bands involved should give you a hint what to expect, a slow opening portal into alternate realities executed with rock instruments, deep listening and, possibly, a few mind-altering substances.
“Mescalito Part One” feels like an acclimation chamber, where whatever expectations you have of psychedelic rock are gradually de-accelerated, taken apart, turned inside out and reconfigured. The sounds are all recognizable parts of drone rock — long, lingering guitar slashes, wavery blots of electric keyboard, pinging, whistling electronic sounds and rapturous, rupturing volleys of percussion. Yet the piece moves so glacially, so entirely without signposts or segments, that at first it’s hard to process. You follow guitar lines that move ponderously from note to note, one step up, one step down, but the spaces between are so elongated that it’s hard to keep developments in your head as a series. Your pulse slows as you start to sync with this new kind of time, the kind of time that boulders mark, perhaps, or that paces tectonic plate movement.
By “Mescalito Part Two” you’ve entered something like the Bardo/Kohoutek space time continuum, and you’re ready when more begins to happen. This second piece is like the first, but more eventful, with crests and swells of sound and more use of space noises. Where before you may have felt you were floating in motionless in magma, this time, you are propelled forward on inchoate waves of sensation. Guitars grow rough and fretful, two of them, communicating in squeaks and grunts and yelps, as the drums rumble ceaselessly over toms and snares and sheens of cymbal roll. (The drumming is really phenomenal.) Shapes emerge in the thrumming vibration, distant dreams of rock and jazz and funk, then dissolve again into constituent elements of pure tone and puncturing rhythm.
Curanderos is quite a bit less structured than most of Bardo Pond’s output and more in line, at a cursory listen, with Kohoutek’s free-form noise-drone experiments. It seems to be a work that is more about process than result, more about minute-to-minute experience than narrative journey. Yet you can hear the hard listening going on throughout, the wordless communication and, perhaps, communion, that hums like a sub-vibration under the variety of sounds ventured and answered in these pieces. And, indeed, it is only by participating in this hard listening that you can make sense of Curanderos.
1.01. Mescalito Pt.1.flac
1.02. Mescalito Pt.2.flac
Genre: post-rock, psychedelic rock
Source : CD
Format : FLAC
Format/Info : Free Lossless Audio Codec, 16-bit PCM
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : ~ 890-901 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Sampling rate : 44.1 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits