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Rituals in vitreous psych

Hello beautiful Sunday children, here are two amazing krauty albums for you! Both come on black vinyl in simple but beautiful packaging. One's a cooperative multi-label release by Echodelick Records, We Here & Now and Worst Bassist Records, the other should tell you its Danish origin by one look onto its cover artwork. So here we go:

IVAN THE TOLERABLE - Ritual In Transfigured Time (LP) (2023)

Some artists should come with a label "too prolific; don't even try to follow - you won't keep up anyway". Multi-instrumentalist Oli Heffernan aka Ivan The Tolerable, who already released more than the sensational album "Black Water/Brown Earth" this year, is definitely among those.

The credits on this release almost read the same with Heffernan himself being responsible for bass, guitar, synths, keys, field recordings, but now also drum machines, Mees Siderius on drums and vibraphone and Elsa Van Der Linden on flute and saxophone. The additional fourth member is James Putnam on trumpet and French horn. The music however is quite different. Also jazzy and definitely psychedelic, but both a more inwards and meditavely hypnotic experience.

The key for this may lie in the record being more production-driven as the note "electronically re-recorded to simulate Stereo" on the cover already indicates. So these recordings travelled back and forth, being altered and manipulated a lot before they took their final form.

"Ritual In Transfigured Time" is a meticulously mixed headphones album, which synchronizes vibraphone, winds, guitars and analogue electro sounds with your brain waves, and sends soothing vibrations all through your body, while also being exciting enough not to lull you to sleep. At least if you don't want that to happen.

This is just a wonderfully life-affirming organic take on Ambient and Drone, a proper companion piece to "Black Water/Brown Earth". In some instances like the final track "Ritual In The Hall" it even ascends to the same busy Spiritual Jazz Fusion playfulness.

FUTUROPACO - Fortezza di Vetro Volume 1 (LP) (2023)

The credits for the newest El Paraiso Records release "Fortezza di Vetro" (="Glass Fortress") could hardly be shorter: All songs composed, performed & engineered by Justin Pinkerton / Mastered by Jonas Munk / Artwork [and what a beautiful one again!] by Jakob Skøtt. That's it.

Five years after his self-titled debut the drummer and Library Music composer returns with nine new tracks, on which he continues the groovy, trippy, 70's-cinematic shtick, he already seemed to have perfected back then. But it turns out, that there was still some room for improvement - and be it only that Pinkerton sounds even more like a "real" full band now. Which album contains the actually better compositions, that I cannot determine at this point yet. And I won't even bother to try.

Ultimately this is top-tier instrumental Psychedelic Rock, made very unique by its Italian movie vibes and the super funky drum energy. I coined it Fuzzadelic Spaghetti Fusion in my last review and I still think that's what you should tag it in your music collection. I could actually see this becoming my favortite El Paraiso record of the year, which obviously is quite a high bar to clear. And maybe - depending on my given mood - I'll even fall back from this assessment again, who really cares?

But there surely is something special in the way Futuropaco departs from the of course all-around brilliant, timeless sounds of Causa Sui, Edena Gardens and the London Odense Ensemble. Maybe it is its full dedication to the sound of a certain time frame without actually becoming a carbon copy of its music. I'm not sure. All I know is this is cool, fiery, relaxing perfection - and the added "Volume 1" after the title reads like an exciting promise.

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