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Golden Death Music: Ephemera Blues

This is a relaxing collage of modern and retro psychedelia delivered with artwork containing more than a touch of humour poking a little fun at Zen stories. The overall sound has some nods toward Gong and early Pink Floyd and bands like Hidria Spacefolk or Liquid Sound Garden provide contemporary comparators. I particularly like the way they mix strong underpinning motifs with spacey, meandering acoustic and vocal explorations in most of the songs. As examples, "Endless Dream", which opens up the set of 12 short atmospheric songs, uses a rhythmic acoustic guitar strumming along with the bass pattern for a gentle airy ballad. "In Waking Nightmare", an electronic oscillation provides the base for the exquisitely woven acoustic tapestry whilst "Together" features a breathy voice echoing a mournful chorus over a strong acoustic guitar and bass figure.

As with most good psychedelic music the idea is to let you drift and reflect whilst stimulating thinking and this album succeeds in all of those aims. The songs are never allowed to wander off into repetition and the playing is imperceptibly tight without appearing too composed. Although mostly led by acoustic instruments, there are several electric guitar outings such as those which tastefully elaborate the monotone drone of "In Silence" and introduce the following track. The Meddle era of Floyd is evident in the title track and there's a nice fading sax on "True Beauty in Emptiness". The penultimate track, the lyrically depressing "Unmaking", is one of the best pieces on the album with its sinister synths, hypnotic keyboard and percussion backing supporting the weaving vocal and acoustic guitar arrangement. The final song pleads with us all to get back into the ocean. Brrrr, not me matey.

A very well crafted album with good production values which rather understates its appeal by being touted as "the perfect soundtrack for your moments of existential despair"!

Track Listing
1. Endless Dream
2. Waking Nightmare
3. Together
4. Morning sun, mourning sun
5. Self help
6. Lost in violence
7. Ephemera Blues
8. In Silence
9. True beauty is emptiness
10. Ringing
11. The Unmaking
12. Into the ocean

Added: December 17th 2007
Reviewer: Richard Barnes
Related Link: Band's My Space Page
Hits: 3460
Language: english

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