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Bardo Pond - Selections : Volumes I-IV (2005)

31-08-2014, 11:46
Rock | Psychedelic | Ambient | FLAC / APE

Bardo Pond - Selections : Volumes I-IV (2005)

Artist: Bardo Pond
Title Of Album: Selections : Volumes I-IV
Year Of Release: 2005
Label: ATP Recordings / ATPRCD14
Genre: Psychedelic, Space Rock, Experimental
Total Time: 2:11:28
Format: Mp3 / FLAC (tracks +.cue, log-file)
Quality: CBR 320 kbps / Lossless
Total Size: 316 mb / 687 mb

A decade has passed and the cathedral bells still ring. The Bardo Pond sound has not quite changed since the band made their guitars roil and pray in tongues to tape-looped bells in their ’95 hallmark, “Amen.” The traits were encapsulated in those 30 minutes: the sky-blackening distortion, the droning basslines that float in midair and leave mile-long trails of smoke, and the hymnal, improvised guitar solos that pierce through the murk like daggers of sunlight hitting an ocean floor, and the jam that neither begins nor ends. Dozens of bands have milked those same damn elements and never woken up. Yet, Bardo Pond have still uncannily sounded fresh.

To listen to the Philedelphia band is to sleepwalk with vocalist/flutist/violinist Isobel Sollenberger and bassist Clint Takeda often cradling the noise in their arms and the brothers Gibbons’ blues licks that flicker like snapshot daydreams. There is little need to change the formula: as Amanita and Lapsed attest. However, the DEA-baiting drug references in their song and album titles are still a bit much.

Selections: Volumes I-IV collects songs that Bardo Pond originally sold on CD-Rs at gigs. Lately, the group seems to be clearing out the vaults: recently, the self-released Cypher Documents I—a priced CD of Mp3s they once gave away on their Hummingbird Mountain Web site—became available once again. And now this, a two disc collection that’s more satisfying, as it pulls strong ideas straight from the rehearsal space instead of having too many second thoughts muddle the momentum on the mixing board. Many of the songs sound like rehashed versions of oldies while the band also indulges in experiments with tape loops and minimalist restrictions.

On the first disc, “Sit Sleep” and “Alien Heat” are vintage Bardo with their murmuring guitar riffs that gaze at a violent desert storm from a back porch and rattling beats that keep the heartbeat alive—despite the oddball sample of some bloke recalling the peculiar behaviors that “it” made him do. “Cymbals” is striking for its cymbal crashes and bowed drones that wail as if held hostage. The epic “Montana Sacra” first throws glances at violin and guitar notes that chase each other in the night before the band drifts the song away into the usual ocean tide. The disc closer, “Heaven” is more beautiful for how its guitar chords sway back and forth like weeping willow branches, reaching no peak or release.

The second disc holds many of the same ideas as before, but with greater exaggerations and more brain cells poisoned by pharmaceutical inspiration. “Lomand” strings a cats cradle from wah-wah’d guitars that sound too cartoonishly psychedelic. In contrast, “E Dub” has melodies that wave its hands in the air and sees eight. Most striking are the staccato post-punk assaults in “Tanked” and the engrossing finale, “Pangolin Dance” where a Gibbons brother spends a few listless minutes trying to figure out a blues riff, before some ectoplasmic bubbles are blown from another guitar—no sense in returning to reality.

-Cameron Macdonald


CD 1
1 Sit Sleep 8:25
2 Cymbals 7:59
3 Before 10:07
4 Precious Metal 7:53
5 Alien Heat 9:21
6 Montana Sacra 15:40
7 Heaven 4:34

CD 2
1 E Dub 9:00
2 Tanked 4:56
3 Lomand 15:59
4 Take What You Need 5:53
5 New Drunks 9:18
6 Marmada 19:24
7 Pangolin Dance 2:59

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