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Obskuria: Burning Sea of Green

A rather cool A4 fold out poster accompanies this disk by multinational band Obskuria. Led by guitarists, Tom Brehn of Dragonwyck (USA) and Miguel Burga of Peru's La ira de Dios, the band also includes German keyboard player Sandra Disterhoft. Best described as hardcore psychedelia mixed with postrock texture and riff building. All the songs were cut from instrumental one-take jams without headphones and with all performers and their amps in one room. The net effect is a vibrant, raw, organic sound which is embellished by the quality of the two vocalists.

The cute play on words of the first instrumental acts as a kind of overture to the album as the vocal is only revealed in the following number. Murielle Stadelmann adds an Amon Duul feel to "Somewhere" although her pitch is rather more dusky than Renate's. Matthias Schaube takes over the vocals on "Why" which has a terrific guitar solo and organ backdrop to the lively riff. "Black magic" is a Slayer cover presented in an early-Krautrock psych style. The tempo drops in the Doors-like "Under the Gallows" with Matthias' haunting vocals/poetry and the spiralling organ generating an eerie supernatural effect, like the middle section of Uriah Heep's Magician's Birthday. Certainly one of the high points of the album as it reaches its guitar-soaring and synth/organ sheering climax.

"Slow Stone" is indeed a slower number still, gradually building from a languid vocal/guitar/organ intro with early Pink Floyd brought to mind. Hawkwind-like riffing and ethereal vocals open the next track which develops into a powerful stoner instrumental which you probably couldn't see for hair. Fabulous guitar and reverb outro too. Murielle is on top form on the penultimate track giving this steady rocking number a 'riders-on-the-storm' vibe but it is just as notable for its Floyd/Hawkwind cross, electronically distorted section in the middle. The 12 minute title track which closes the album is quite sensational. Its a masterpiece of the genre akin to Golden Void or Ceremony of the Lizard, blending Gong, Doors, Floyd, Hawkwind and Amon Duul influences in a structure of slow build, climax and decline similar to Glasgow postrockers Mogwai. The most trippy of all the work on the album, Murielle's space poetry and Sandra's lightning zaps and whipping wind effects (straight out of DikMik's audio generator catalogue it seems) are used to colour the gradual riff building which is given an extra dimension by the superbly controlled ebb and flow drumming of Enrique de Vinatea.

This is a really enjoyable eclectic mix of influences which are presented here in a totally uncluttered, authentic way. At 45 minutes it's a perfect length in a genre which can suffer from over-indulgent editing since the invention of the CD. Recommended if you love space, stoner or psych rock and it may even grab post-rock fans too.


Track Listing
1. A-bun-dance
2. Somewhere
3. Why?!
4. Black Magic
5. Under the gallows
6. Slow stone
7. Memories of Mystery
8. Screaming like a whirlwind
9. Burning sea of green

Added: August 31st 2010
Reviewer: Richard Barnes
Score:
Related Link: World in Sound MySpace Page
Hits: 2054
Language: english

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