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12 August 2009

Axolotl - 'Chemical Theatre' (Gipsy Sphinx)

Here's another record that works at 33 or 45rpm, but sounds better (to these ears) with a faster rotation. 'Chemical Theatre', the a-side, drops us into a soundform that's already well underway; it has that late 90's VHF 'tape splice' opening and a plate of minimal murk to accompany it. It grinds thick, so if that's how you like your gravy you'll find lots to enjoy here. But the B-side, 'Illiaster', is really where Axolotl shines. Another horizontal slab of sound, this redefined the idea of 'shimmering' into a vast new dimension. Dribbling, oscillating tones eventually start to bend into another dimension. The whole thing swerves on the verge of totally flipping around, warping almost around itself but holding on for the inevitable decay. All the sounds are generated by violin, electronics, and percussion; it manages to sound space-age and earthy at the same time. 'Illiaster' is probably gonna be relegated to a "minor" Axolotl track in his slowly accumulating discography which is a shame because it has a depth lacking in a lot of other psychedelic droneczar releases.

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